The transit of Venus in front of the solar disk is one of the most infrequent astronomical events. Although the last one was in 2004, the one before that was in 1882! If you’re planning to catch the next one I’ll have to disappoint you. This rare alignment of the Sun, Venus and Earth will not happen again until 2117. Seeing the transit of Venus is one in a lifetime opportunity (though I happened to see it twice 😉 ), and naturally gathered the attention of many people.
Here at the University of Toledo the visitors safely observed the event as our Heliostat solar telescope projected a large image of the Sun on a screen. Another opportunity to see the transit provided the small instruments on the lawn before the Sun set behind the buildings.
I was strategically positioned on the roof of the physics building from where I observed the entire transit until sunset. Even at this “remote” location, over a hundred visitors stopped by to look at the big black dot on the solar disk and ask me various questions about the transit and where we all are in the Cosmos. I even managed to make a few photos in the meantime 🙂 .