Transit of Venus Watch
5am, June 6th, Skerries Harbour
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the Astronomy Ireland Shop to safely view the Sun!
Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and Astronomy Ireland, are coming together at the carpark at the Martello Tower at Skerries Harbour on the morning of Wednesday, June 6th, to watch the Transit of Venus as the Sun rises.
Skerries Harbour gives a clear view of the eastern horizon, making it an ideal location from which to observe this spectacular event.
The last Transit of Venus took place in June 2004, and it will not happen again until December 2117, making this the last time anyone on Earth will get to see it.
The general public are invited to come along at 5am as the Sun rises, where they can use telescopes fitted with special safety equipment under the guidance of experienced astronomers from DIT, DIAS, and Astronomy Ireland.
WARNING: Never, ever look at the Sun without proper safety equipment provided by astronomers. Looking at the Sun can cause instant, permanent damage and blindness.
Map of Skerries Harbour
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Observing the Sun Safely
We encourage everyone all over the country to try to observe the Transit of Venus. You can easily and safely observe the Sun by projecting it through a tiny hole onto a white sheet of paper (this will also help you observe big sunspots too!). This simple device is called a "pinhole camera". You'll need:
- 2 sheets of stiff white paper
- A pin
- A sunny day
- Perhaps a friend to help
With the pin, punch a hole in the center of one of your pieces of paper. Go outside, hold the paper up and aim the hole at the Sun. (Don't look at the Sun either through the hole or in any other way!) Now, find the image of the Sun which comes through the hole. Move your other piece of paper back and forth until the image looks best. What you are seeing is not just a dot of light coming through the hole, but an actual image of the Sun!
Alternatively, if you have a refractor telescope, you can set up sheets of card like in the image below to get an image of the Sun. Never look at the Sun through a telescope. Remember to cover up any spotting scopes on your telescope, as these can be forgotten about and will cause dangerous burns.
Astronomy Ireland encourages everyone to send in their photos or impressions of the Transit of Venus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports will then be published in Astronomy Ireland magazine for posterity. Although it won't happen again for 105 years, the Transit of Venus occurs in pairs, and the June issue of Astronomy Ireland has a full report on the 2004 transit. A copy of the June issue of Astronomy Ireland (or a full year's membership) can be ordered online at www.astronomy.ie/join.