Beauty spot on Sun today, itís Venus in transit


A once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle will greet skygazers between 7 am and 1.20 am on Wednesday as planet Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun.

The 'Transit of Venus' will have the planet as a small black spot against the Sun's face. Though the spectacle will be visible to the naked eye, experts advise that proper solar filters must be used for viewing the transit, as it could lead to eye damage.

In the Capital, if the weather permits, skygazers can view the transit at Nehru Planetarium and Observatory at DU's Department of Physics and Astro Physics.

The Archaeological Survey of India and SPACE (Science Popularisation Association of Communicators & Educators) will also hold a mass observation at Jantar Mantar between 5.30 am and 10.20 am, with equipment including telescopes, projectors, solar filters, etc.

The next transit will be in the year 2117, as per scientists.

Venus will take 6 hours 40 minutes to complete the transit, which will be visible in its entirety from Hawaii, Alaska, eastern Australia and eastern Asia, where the transit will be complete within day time.

The other parts of the world will catch parts of the transit.

"If weather is good, the transit will be visible between 6.45 am and 10.20 am in the city. Students, faculty members and the public are welcome and can view the event through the telescopes at the university observatory. The event will be visible to the naked eye, though it is a good idea to use telescopes. We'll also be providing goggles, through which the transit can be viewed," said Dr H P Singh, who heads DU's Centre for Science Education and Communications.

The university will also have experts explain the phenomena, Dr Singh said.

If cloudy skies shut out the view of the transit ó chances of which are high with the IMD predicting partly cloudy skies on Wednesday ó people can catch the spectacle on the Internet. The NASA is expected to do a live webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii. and Exploratorium in San Francisco are among others that will broadcast the sky show online.

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