SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Tonight a last-in-a-lifetime event, Venus will come between the Earth and the Sun. What makes tonight so special, we actually can see it.
Venus comes between Earth and the sun five times in the course of every eight years, but because of the inclination of the planets' orbits, Venus usually misses passing over the sun's disk, as seen from Earth. In fact, that passing-over phenomenon occurs only twice in the typical person's lifetime. Two transits occur eight years apart, but each pair is separated by either 105.5 years or 121.5 years. We had a Venus transit in 2004, and we're having another one today. The next one won't come until 2117. So if you're into rare sky phenomena, today is as good as it gets.
Utah Viewing Parties: Starting at 4 p.m. on June 5th
- Clark Planetarium will offer free viewing parties to the public. They will set up their telescopes equipped with the proper solar filters in the following locations:
- The Gateway by the Olympic Fountain in Salt Lake City at about 450 West & South Temple
- Dimple Dell Recreation Center in Sandy at 106th South & 10th East
Additional viewing parties will be held at these locations:
- Brickyard Harmon's parking lot. Siegfried Jachmann of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society will have a rare 9″ Clark Refractor telescope equipped with a Hydrogren Alpha (translation, uber-cool) filter for solar viewing
- Weber State University in Ogden just north of the Lind Lecture Hall
- Northridge High School in Layton at 2430 North Hill Field Road
- Natural History Museum of Utah in SLC at 301 Wakara Way
- Novell Campus in Provo from 4-6 p.m. 1800 South Novell Place