A Central Lakes College (CLC) geoscience instructor will offer observers a chance to witness a rare astronomical event, a Venus transit, on Tuesday.
During this event Venus crosses the face of the Sun, relative to the Earth according to CLC’s David Kobilka of the Department of Geoscience. With the right equipment, he said, it is something observers can see. However, he said, without the proper equipment, observers can neither see it, nor escape permanent injury to their eyes if they attempt it. The light from the sun, he said, is extremely intense, and Venus is extremely small relative to the Sun.
The Earth Science department at CLC has the right equipment and Kobilka said he will set it up Tuesday on the Brainerd campus.
Those people who would like to witness this once in a lifetime event, may stop by for a look. Kobilka will be outside Door No. 8 on the little hill (the east maintenance area) or Door No. 1 (the main entrance) with a large telescope on a tripod pointed at the Sun. The event begins shortly after 5 p.m. and goes until sunset. Weather permitting (anything but a thick cloud layer) Kobilka plans to be outside viewing the event the whole time.
“If you cannot make it tomorrow you will have to wait until 2117 to see it again,” he said. “That is a long wait for sure. But whatever you do, do not try to look at the Sun without proper equipment.”