BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (WWJ) – Pull up a seat for a rare astronomical event tonight. The planet Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun — appearing as a small black dot passing across the sun’s bright disk.

It’s known as the transit of Venus — and it won’t happen again for more than 100 years. But Mike Narlock – the head of astronomy at Cranbrook – says we’ve got a couple of strikes against us for optimal viewing.

“One is the weather, which is something that is always an issue when you’re talking about astronomy in Michigan,” Narlock said. “And the second is, this particular transit happens for us right around sunset, so we’re only gonna catch just a glimpse of it.”

There are several public viewing events in metro Detroit.  You can head to the roof top Observatory on the Physics Research Building at Wayne State. They will have telescopes set up from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Or – head over to Kensington, where local amateur astronomers will have their telescopes set up along the east boat launch, starting at 5 o’clock.

Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti will also have a viewing party; their’s at Sherzer Observatory,  hosted by the Astronomy Club.  EMU’s event also running from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

And this note: scientists warn watching it through a telescope or binoculars without a proper filter can cause instant blindness. If you do want to look at the transit with your naked eyes, experts recommend a pair of #14 welder’s glasses.

For more information on WSU’s public viewing event, click here.


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