Venus Transit of the Sun, June 5, 2012
(it will not happen again until 2117, and most of the world got to see at least part of it)

First and foremost
, solar viewing SAFETY!  NEVER look at the Sun without proper eye protection. To safely look at the Sun, one MUST use proper eye protection! One can buy Eclipse Shades as well as solar filters for binoculars, cameras, & telescopes to view the Sun safely.

Some pictures of the Venus transit will be uploaded in the next few days. In the mean time, you can watch recordings of it on various sites.

Recorded Web Casts - Transit of Venus, June 5, 2012:

NASA - Planetary Transits Page:

Past Events of Interest

Annular Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012

Check this interactive Google map to see the path from where the "Ring of Fire" (the annular phase) was visible. Any location inside of the blue lines was able to see a small ring of the Sun (weather permitting!), while areas outside of the blue lines would have seen a partial solar eclipse, or no eclipse if one was too far outside of the blue lines. The next annular solar eclipse visible from the USA will be in 2023, although we get a much better total solar eclipse in August 2017.

NASA explanation of an annular eclipse:

NASA main eclipse page:

Compute every solar eclipse visible from a city for any century from 1500 BCE to 3000 CE.

Some people know that my life's dream is to travel the world to watch total solar eclipses. Sadly, that dream will never come true, but I did get to see the February 26, 1998 total solar eclipse from a cruise ship off of Aruba (the photo's caption incorrectly states that it is from 1999). There is a reason why I say that a total solar eclipse is the most beautiful sight in nature!

A few photographs of the Annular Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012, taken through a telescope with a safe solar filter on the front of it.

Partial phase: the Moon is about to cover a sunspot

A few seconds before start of the annular phase (the "Ring of Fire" phase)

Maximum annular phase: photo taken 41 miles southwest of eclipse center line, hence the Moon is closer to the top-right.
Notice how the rim of the Moon is bumpy...those are mountains and edges of craters.