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Where to Watch the Transit of Venus

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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1882 Transit of Venus

The transit of Venus in December 1882

Today offers a final opportunity for 21st century stargazers to observe a transit of Venus. For those of you who forgot to bring your telescope to work today, we’ve got a guide for viewing the transit both indoors and outside.

DIY Viewing
If the weather is cooperating and you’ve got your pinhole projector in hand, you can definitely head out to see the transit on your own. Folks in North America north of 67 degrees latitude (meaning Northern Canada and Alaska) can watch the entire transit. Most of the lower 48 will be able to catch much of the transit towards sunset today. A good overview site for more information is

Planetary Parties
There are meatspace events across the country (and around the world) for viewing the transit. Check your favorite local museum, university, or observatory, or simply stop by NASA’s fairly comprehensive round up of viewing events, mapping out spots as far-flung as Hanga Roa, Easter Island and Woldlia College, Ethiopia.

Viewers in California’s Bay Area can join the Lawrence Hall of Science event, where experts will be helping the curious use special eclipse-viewing glasses. New Yorkers can stop by Pier 1 at Riverside Park to join the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York (there’s also an indoor event at the American Museum of Natural History). Whether you’re at the Kansas Cosmosphere, the Pensacola State College Planetarium, or the Montana State Stadium, chances are there’s a viewing area open to the public not far from home.

Rain Checked?
But if you can’t make it outside today, fear not. Here’s a selection of online options for viewing, many of which have been handily organized on NASA’s Live Venus Transit Website:

NASA EDGE in Mauna Kea, Hawaii
NASA’s main NASA EDGE stream of the transit

Another live feed from NASA, carried by some cable and satellite provides

SLOOH SpaceCamera
A view from the SLOOH robotic telescopealso has a countdown timer.

Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks’s 21 hours of sunlight should make it a great viewing area

Astronomers Without Borders
Broadcasting from Mount Wilson Observatory in California

NASA Glenn Research Center
Also offers information about future missions to Venus

Coca-Cola Space Science Center
Broadcasting from Alice Springs, Australia, with a team in Mongolia uploading live images

Transit Webcast from Norway
Covers the transit from locations across the country

Much Hoole, UK, Horrocks Webcast
Brings together live music, 2012 observations, and historical commentary

Indian Astronomical Observatory
The highest-elevation station in the world webcasting the transit

European Space Agency
Broadcasting from Svalbard in the Arctic and near Canberra, Australia

International Space Station
May provide video and images from astronauts. Hear astronaut Don Pettit discuss how he plans on photographing these unprecedented images from space


About the Author: Daisy Yuhas is an associate editor at Scientific American Mind. You can follow her on Twitter, @daisyyuhas

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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