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Watch the Transit of Venus in Laramie

 

An artist conception of the Venus approaching the Sun (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab, Flickr).

Don’t put away those solar observing glasses just yet, another rare astronomical event will be visible in Laramie. The planet Venus will cross the face of the sun on Tuesday night, something that won’t occur again for 105 years. To make sure you can safely see it all happen, the Laramie Astronomical Society and Space Observers (LASSO) will host a solar observation party from 4PM to sunset.

LASSO will have solar telescopes set up just north of the soccer fields along Television Road. The observation area will be a short distance south of the intersection of Harney St. and Television Road, which also rund just west of the building housing the Laramie Physicians for Women and Children. LASSO says they’ll be at the site from 4 p.m. to sunset, weather permitting, and the event is free and open to the public. They’ll have special solar observing glasses (also used to view the partial solar eclipse) that protect your eyes and allow you to really see the transit. A Coronado Personal Solar Telescope will be set up as well as other telescopes equipped with solar filters for safe viewing of the event.

The transit starts at about 4:05 p.m. according to LASSO with the midpoint at 7:30 p.m. The entire transit takes six hours and forty minutes, which means the sun will set and Laramie will only see about half of the transit.

Transits of Venus typically occur in pairs, eight years apart. LASSO reports that the next time a transit of Venus was visible in Laramie was on June 8, 2004. The next transit will occur in the year 2117. The last transit prior to 2004 was in 1882. This is the second transit of the 21st Century pair and the last Venus transit of this century. You can view a video of the 2004 transit below. It’s been quite a spring for viewing rare astronomical events in Laramie. Check out our photo gallery of the partial solar eclipse by clicking here.

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