The transit of Venus, which occurs when the planet Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun, is pictured in Hong Kong Tuesday, June 8, 2004. The previous transit occured in 1882.

Venus Transit 2012: How to View It Without Eye Damage

ICTMN Staff
6/5/12

Hold onto those eclipse glasses or that pinhole camera! The transit of Venus, the once-a-century (if we’re lucky) glimpse of the solar system’s second planet as it crosses between Earth and the sun, is upon us, and it requires the same precautions as the annular eclipse of May 20 did.

We reiterate here that one should never, ever look straight at the sun, especially not through a telescope or binoculars. Doing so even for a brief moment can cause serious, irreversible eye damage, experts warn. Re-read Indian Country Today Media Network's "How to Watch a Solar Eclipse, if You Are So Inclined" for details on safe viewing methods.

There are several ways to watch safely, from filtered telescopes—viewing parties abound at planetariums, observatories, universities and the odd football field—to the famous pinhole camera.

And if the once-in-a-lifetime transit is clouded out, as may be happening in the northeastern U.S., there are plenty of places to watch online, including NASA's Sun Earth Day site, whose broadcast started at 5:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

For more information on the Venus transit 2012, see ICTMN's guide to the best online sources and learn about the ancient Mayans' and Native Hawaiians' connections to the Venus transit. It is starting at about 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 5 and won't happen again until 2117. So wherever you are, be sure to catch a glimpse during the planet's six-hour crossing.

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