Public Viewing of the Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012
On Tuesday, June 5, Griffith Observatory welcomed thousands of people for a once-in-a-lifetime free viewing of the transit of Venus.
Upcoming Astronomical Observing at Griffith Observatory
What is the transit of Venus?
The transit of Venus occurs when the planet Venus passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. During the transit, Venus will appear as a small black dot on the face of the Sun. Historically, this alignment permitted the size of our solar system to be measured. After this transit, no transit of Venus will occur for another 105 years! So if you miss this transit you will have to wait until December 11, 2117. The last transit of Venus occurred on June 8, 2004, but was not visible in Los Angeles. In fact, no transit of Venus has been visible from Los Angeles since December 6, 1882.
How can I safely view the transit?
NO ONE SHOULD EVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER PROTECTION. In order to view the Sun and Venus safely during the transit, all telescopes and other viewing should be done with certifiably safe filters. The telescopes available for free viewing of the transit at the Griffith Observatory will be equipped with proper filters. The Griffith Observatory’s Stellar Emporium gift shop will stock official Griffith Observatory Eclipse Glasses for purchase.
When can I view the transit from Los Angeles?
Here in Los Angeles, Venus will first cross in front of the Sun’s disc at 3:06 p.m. and will continue to move across the disk. The Sun will set in Los Angeles at 8:02 p.m. before Venus slips past the other side of the Sun’s disk.
- Building Open 12:00 noon – 10:00 p.m.
- Extensive viewing with the coelostat
- Viewing from telescopes on the lawn
- Talks and explanations by staff
- External Ingress 3:06 p.m.
- Internal Ingress 3:23 p.m.
- Central Transit 6:25 p.m.
- Sunset 8:02 p.m.