View Rare Transit of Venus at RIT Observatory June 5

Event open to the public

Follow Susan Gawlowicz on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter


Venus crosses the sun twice each century with an eight-year gap between transits. NASA’s sun-observing TRACE spacecraft captured this image during the last Venus transit on June 8, 2004. The bottom left image is in the ultraviolet and the bottom right, in the extreme ultraviolet.

Catch a glimpse of Venus’ silhouette at the RIT Observatory June 5 as the planet glides across the face of the sun. Venus will pass directly between the Earth and sun in a rare alignment that will not repeat until December 2117.

The RIT Observatory will hold a special open house starting at 5:30 p.m. for the public to observe the “transit of Venus” safely.

“We’ll have several telescopes equipped with special solar filters, and we’ll project images from other instruments,” says Michael Richmond, professor of physics and director of the RIT Observatory. “The event will run until 8 p.m., when the sun dips into the trees and clouds.”

Richmond will provide a brief lecture on the history of 18th ad 19th century expeditions sent around the world to observe transits.

“Careful timing of a transit was the key to measuring the size of the solar system,” he says.

The RIT Observatory is located at 645 John St., near the intersection with Bailey Road.

The status of the event will be posted on the observatory’s website at For more information, contact Michael Richmond at or 585-475-2538.