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It’s no camping trip, but the transit of Venus is the perfect mid-week enjoyment of nature

by Liz Childers

When you are sitting at your desk this afternoon thinking longingly of how you would rather be sitting at the edge of your camping tent enjoying the fresh air, send a little thank you up to Mother Nature. Never one to keep us wanting, there is a special treat in store for us city-bound nature lovers.

Coming just weeks behind the so-called Super Moon, this afternoon, the sky will again provide an awing display. The transit of Venus will be a nearly 7-hour show for parts of the globe.

Venus’s slow transit between the Sun and Earth makes this cosmic event visible. Because it is so far away from the Earth, the planet appears as a very small black disc moving slowly across the face of the Sun.

If you are lucky enough to live in the Eastern Pacific, you can view the entire event. If you live in North America, however, make sure you are out of the office around 5:05 CST to begin watching the event.

Just like a solar eclipse, the transit of Venus can be viewed safely with eclipse glasses or through a properly filtered telescope or pair of binoculars. Do not look directly into the Sun without proper protection.

Find yourself unable to view the event? Watch it live from Slooh.com. While the transit is no fantastic camping trip, it is one of the rarest of predictable astronomical events – so you do not want to miss it! The next one will not take place until 2117.