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Transit of Venus: Tips for viewing on L.A. Now Live

June 5, 2012 |  6:00 am

What's all the excitement about the transit of Venus? Times reporter Ron Lin and science reporter Eryn Brown have all the details about the astronomical event that won't occur again for 105 years.

The chat is scheduled for 9 a.m., and Lin will be available to answer all your questions, provide tips for how to watch Venus cross in front of the sun from the Earth's perspective and photograph the event. Those watching will be able to see a small, visible dot glide from left to right across the top of the solar disk.

It will begin at 3:06 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time and hit the center of its journey at 6:25 p.m. The sun sets in Los Angeles at 8:02 p.m., but in points west — such as Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, eastern Asia and most of Europe — the show will go on for two more hours. (The transit will occur Wednesday for points west of the International Date Line.)

The Transit of Venus has happened only seven times since the telescope was invented, according to NASA's Fred Espenak.

The last time was in 2004, but the western United States was unable to view it. The most recent time Los Angeles has seen a Transit of Venus was in 1882, L.A.'s Griffith Observatory said.

Venues around the world will provide viewing opportunities for the public, including one for seniors at Leisure World in Seal Beach. Astronaut Don Pettit packed a special solar filter when he departed for the International Space Station in December so that he could safely photograph the transit from space. Members of the Antique Telescope Society have already set up their centuries-old viewing devices in a parking lot atop Mt. Wilson, where Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding.

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