Transit of Venus

On Wednesday June 6th Venus will transit across the sun, producing a silhouette that will not be seen again until 2117.

The transit will be visible across Australia from 8.16 am AEST for up to seven hours.

For the transit of 6th June 2012, Venus will take about six hours and a half hours to travel across the face of the Sun. Venus must be above the horizon for the transit to be visible. Australia is one of the best places on Earth from which to observe the transit as the entire transit will be visible from eastern and central Australia. The transit will have started before sunrise for those observing from Western Australia.

To observe the transit safely your eyes must be protected at all times. A variety of solar viewing techniques allow you to experience the event such as special filters, welding goggles, webcasts and using telescope projection methods. Optometrists are well placed to provide the below eye safety and can answer any questions you have.

  1. Never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection. It is possible to suffer permanent eye damage by looking at a solar eclipse even for a very short time.
  2. Always use solar eclipse glasses, or special filters that have been made to hold over or attach to hand-held glasses, telescopes or binoculars for safe solar eclipse viewing.
  3. Look for filters or eclipse glasses that have been appropriately certified against the European Standard for personal eye equipment (EN 1836:2005+A1:2007) or the Australian Standard for welding shields and goggles with a lens category higher than 12 (AS/NZS 1338.2:1992 & AS/NZS 1338.1:1992).
  4. Do not use solar eclipse glasses or filters that do not show compliance with the Standards listed above.
  5. Check to see if filters or eclipse glasses are scratched or damaged. If so, do not use them as they will not fully protect your eyes.
  6. Do not look directly through binoculars or telescopes. Do not use regular sunglasses to view a solar eclipse.
  7. Alternative safe viewing methods include using telescope projection. Visit the NASA Sun-Earth Day website for details on how to do this safely.