Transit of Venus Viewing June 5, 2012 (S. Rim)
The afternoon of Tuesday, June 5, 2012 will be the last chance in our lifetimes to see the planet Venus pass directly between us and the sun. A similar line-up of Earth, Venus and the Sun will not occur until December 11, 2117.
This rare astronomical event will be visible from most of the globe either the afternoon of June 5 (here in North America) or the morning of June 6. Here in Grand Canyon National Park, the transit will begin around 3:05 p.m. and still be in progress when the sun sets at 7:43 p.m.
Solar Viewers bought for the May 20 eclipse can be used again to watch the tiny black dot move across the sun's surface over the course of about 6 ½ hours (4 ½ hours here where the sun sets with the transit in progress).
NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH NAKED EYE OR THROUGH SUNGLASSES, CAMERA VIEWFINDER, OR ANY FORM OF UNFILTERED MAGNIFICATION !
To watch the transit of our sister planet safely and as MORE than a tiny black dot, stop by the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, near Mather Point on Grand Canyon's South Rim. Telescopes will be set up offering both direct and indirect views of the transit. Venus will appear as a FAIR-SIZED black dot against the enlarged image of our local star when seen through a solar telescope, or even a LARGE black dot against the sun's image projected on a larger screen.
For a NASA web page with more information about transits of Venus and their historical significance in determining the scale of our solar system, visit: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/transit12.html
Grand Canyon's 22nd Annual Star Party will be held on both South and North Rims from June 16-23, 2012.For eight days in June, park visitors will explore the wonders of the night sky on Grand Canyon National Park's South Rim with the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association and on the North Rim with the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix.
Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their expertise and will offer free nightly astronomy programs and free telescope viewing. LEARN MORE HERE
Did You Know?
The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently set the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.