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Officials at the University of Louisville's Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium aren't kidding when they claim that watching Venus cross the face of the sun is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Keith Kaiser will show us why it won't occur again until 2117.
The solar phenomenon can be safely viewed at the planetarium June 5 during a National Astronomy Day celebration.
The free, public celebration runs 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature a live webcast of the cosmic event (starting at 6:04 p.m.) from the Mauna Kea Observatory, Big Island, Hawaii.
Viewers can watch the transit on the Rauch Planetarium's 55-foot dome or through solar telescopes (weather permitting) provided by the Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS). Other activities will include games for children, refreshments, a drawing for a free telescope and other prizes.
According to a NASA website, the transit of Venus comes in pairs. This year's transit is the second and final (the first was in 2004) for this century.
It will take about seven hours for Venus to cross the sun. For viewers in the Louisville area, the transit begins at 6:04 p.m. and continues until sunset.
The LAS and UofL have partnered with other organizations to offer two additional viewing sites: The Falls of the Ohio, Jeffersonville, Ind., and Bernheim Forest, Clermont.
Both locations will offer transit of Venus viewing from 6:04 p.m. until sunset.
Click here to learn more about the Transit of Venus.