Berkeley grabs rare chance to see Venus in transit

Neighbors enjoy viewing Venus in transit on Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, on June 5. Photo: Claudia Smukler

Mother Nature has a veritable smörgåsbord of delights for us this month, particularly in the astronomical department. Yesterday saw six hours of viewing time for the Transit of Venus, such a rare event that, if you missed it, like many of us who weren’t prepared with the requisite telescope or custom viewers, you won’t get another chance to see it — well, ever. The next scheduled appearance is on Dec. 11, 2117.

So thank goodness for trusty Berkeleyside readers on whom we can rely to send us visual documentation of such momentous events (see, for no better example, Ira Serkes’ stupendous photograph of the May 5-6 Supermoon).

The black dot top right is Venus crossing between the sun and planet earth. Photo: Ira Serkes

The transit of Venus across the sun is one of the rarest celestial sights visible from Earth. Photo: Ira Serkes

Cheryl Wilcox made these coasters for a "transit viewing party". Photo: Bill Newton

Get free supermoon photo with Berkeleyside subscription [06.05.12]
Berkeleyans come out in force to view eclipse of the sun [05.21.12]
A spectacular sight: Berkeley shoots the supermoon [05.07.12]

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  • Berkeleyfarm

    I spaced and didn’t get a picture of the man with a really nifty telescope rig who set up on Bancroft outside of St. Mark’s  … giving early music lovers (who were there for the Berkeley Early Music Festival) and a lot of passers-by a good look!  If you’re reading, thank you again, sir!

  • Tom

    The man in black in the photo is David Lance Goines, an astronomy buff as well as a poster artist, who customarily sets up a telescope in front of his MLK Way studio on these occasions.