Transit of Venus: Where to see it, how to see it
(CBS/AP) HONOLULU - It's your last chance to catch one of the rarest cosmic spectacles - Venus slowly crossing the face of the sun. Weather permitting, the transit of Venus will be visible from much of Earth - Tuesday from the Western Hemisphere and Wednesday from the Eastern Hemisphere. This sight won't come again until 105 years from now - in 2117.
The nearly 7-hour show can be seen in its entirety from the western Pacific, eastern Asia and eastern Australia. Other parts of the globe will catch portions of the transit.
Here's a sampling of local viewing times: 12:10 p.m. Honolulu, 3:06 p.m. Los Angeles, 5:06 p.m. Mexico City, 6:04 p.m. New York - all on Tuesday - and 5:37 a.m. London, 6:10 a.m. Beijing, 6:12 a.m. Hong Kong, 6:38 a.m. Cairo, 7:10 a.m. Tokyo, 8:16 a.m. Sydney, 10:15 a.m. Auckland on Wednesday.
As in a solar eclipse, do not look directly at the sun. There are ways to watch the Venus transit without blinding yourself.
Wherever you are, do not look directly at the eclipsed sun or you can get a serious eye injury. Wear specially made protective glasses that can be bought online or create your own contraption by punching a small pinhole in a cardboard box.
If you still have your pair of eclipse glasses from the May 20 "ring of fire" solar eclipse, now is a good time to reuse it. You can also find the special viewing glasses at your local museum - if they're not already sold out. NASA also recommends using welder's glasses with a number 14 filter.
Sunglasses - even multiple pairs - photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters, are not appropriate for looking at the transit. In fact, NASA warns that, infrared radiation from the sun "can cause a thermal retinal burn" even if "the Sun appears dim, or...you feel no discomfort" while using an unsafe filter.
To celebrate the last transit in a century, museums, observatories and astronomy clubs are setting up telescopes with special filters for the public. Many will also feature special programs including lectures.
If clouds spoil your view or if you're shut out, there's always the Internet. NASA plans a live webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Slooh.com and the Exploratorium in San Francisco are among others that will the sky show broadcast online. CBSNews.com will be webcasting the transit of Venus live from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
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