Normally, I’d post a science-related image that I’d taken myself — but this week, I’m going to urge that you take one of your own. Spanning the 5th and 6th of June (that’d be this Tuesday / Wednesday depending on where you live), most people on the planet will have the opportunity to see Venus’ transit across the Sun.
We won’t get to see this show again until 2117, so this is pretty much guaranteed to be your last chance.
Meanwhile, here’s a neat map of the transit’s visibility (sorry, Brazil and Argentina!), courtesy of Michael Zeiler and eclipse-maps.com:
Click on the map above to get a full size map in a new tab, suitable for printing.
Lots of observatories and museums are setting up solar telescopes and viewing parties, they’re the simplest way to see the event with good equipment (and it’s free!). But of course, you can improvise your own viewing equipment, provided you take care to protect your eyes — TransitOfVenus.org has some particularly good advise for watching the transit safely. And Astronomers Without Borders has plenty more background information, history, and interesting links to follow.
Oh, and if the weather’s bad where you live (or you’re in one of the slivers of Earth that’s missing out on this show), I’d recommend you follow the action live via the Keck Observatory feed.
After the big show, email me (sam “at” sortingoutscience “dot” net) an image from your viewing adventure, and I’ll post it on SOS!
Update — here are some screen captures from NASA TV during the event: