The silhouette of Venus will be visible in the Seal Beach and Los Alamitos area as it travels past the sun.
The “Transit of Venus” phenomenon won’t happen again until 2117.
Venus, which will look like a small black dot passing over the sun, will be visible in California on Tuesday beginning at 3:06 p.m. and lasts until sunset at 8 p.m. The University of California, Irvine will be welcoming guests to its observatory to view the transit through special protective glasses and telescopes.
Remember, DO NOT look at the sun directly! Protective glasses or a pinhole projector are needed to safely view the transit. DO NOT use regular sunglasses to view the transit and DO NOT look at the sun directly, even for a brief amount of time.
How/When to view
The entire transit will last 6 hours and 40 minutes. While spectators in United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the northern part of South America will be able to view Venus prior to sunset, Europe, western and central Asia, eastern Africa and western Australia won’t see the transit until the following day after sunrise, according to the Associated Press.
- Outdoor viewing: View the transit through telescopes and “eclipse” glasses ($2 rental charge) at the UCI Observatory, which is located on campus. Visitors should park at the corner of California Avenue and Adobe Circle Road South in the East Campus Parking Structure (building #88 on the campus map. ) There is a $2 per hour parking fee ($8 maximum).
You can also view the transit safely at home through “solar filters”, which can be applied to binoculars, camera, etc. A pinhole projector can also be made. See how to make one here.
- Home viewing: Visit NASA and Slooh.com for a live stream of the Transit of Venus.
"The astronomer Sir Edmund Halley first suggested that the distance to Venus could be determined by observing the timing of the transit of Venus from two, widely-spaced locations on the Earth using an effect known as parallax. That would then allow astronomers to estimate the size of our Solar System. Astronomers flocked to various places on the globe to view the transit of Venus in the 1760s, but their measurements were not good enough to do the job. Astronomers had to patiently wait for the transit of Venus in the late 1800s when the invention of cameras and photography finally made this measurement possible. Even today, transits of planets across the faces of the stars they orbit are very important to astronomers because its one of the few way we can actually find planets in other solar systems. If the geometry of the orbit is just right, a planet will cross in front of its star, causing an observer to see the star's light dim by a small amount depending on the size of the planet. If the star is similar to the Sun, then it dims by 1% if the planet is similar in size to Jupiter or 0.002% if the planet is similar in size to the Earth. This is the only way astronomers can actually determine the radius of a planet. However by also measuring the velocity of the planet and star as a function of time, astronomers can then determine the planet's mass and density, too, and find out whether its similar to a terrestrial planet like Earth or a gas giant like Jupiter. Therefore transits are a crucial way we study solar systems other than our own."
— Tammy Smecker-Hane, Director of the UCI Observatory