'Transit of Venus' to be seen in SoCal for last time this century

Solar Transit Venus

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

A file photo of the planet Venus, black spot, crossing the sun. It was photographed through a telescope at Planetarium Urania in Hove, Belgium, in June 2004. On June 5, Venus will pass across the face of the sun, producing a silhouette that no one alive today will likely see again. Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June's transit, the bookend of a 2004-2012 pair, won't be repeated until the year 2117. Fortunately, the event is widely visible.

It's a spectacle that won't repeat for another 105 years: the sight of Venus slowly inching across the face of the sun. Museums, schools and observatories are hosting viewing activities for the so-called "transit of Venus" on Tuesday afternoon.

Griffith Observatory is one spot where people can look through telescopes with special filters as Venus appears as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun.

Meanwhile in Orange County, the UC Irvine Observatory is projecting the image of the sun through several telescopes onto screens. UCI will also have telescopes with solar filters and safe glasses available to view the sun safely.

In Southern California, the transit starts shortly after 3 p.m. on Tuesday and continues until the sun sets at 8 p.m.

There will be no obvious change to the brightness of the sky during the event as Venus only blocks out a tiny fraction of the sun. Venus transits are rare — the next passing won't take place until 2117.

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