Transit of Venus - It's Not Too Late!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Smitty:  "Speaking of geeked...gonna make a Transit of Venus viewer?"

Bob:  "Too late. Its tomorrow. I will hold off until 2117."

No!  It's not too late!

Smitty's guide to a field-expedient Transit of Venus viewer:

Method 1:
  1. Buy 2 of those triangular post office picture shipping tubes
  2. Tape them together to make a 6' tube
  3. On one short end, cut a hole a few inches big; this will the the "top" you'll point at the sun 
  4. Tape some tin foil over that hole
  5. Pick the tin foil in the middle with a push-pin
  6. down near the bottom, but not on the bottom, like along the side near the bottom, cut open a window about as wide as one of the sides of the triangle shipper, and several inches long up the length.
  7. put a piece of blank white paper in the window and flat on the bottom 
  8. Point the viewer at the sun
  9. Observe through the window!
Method 2:
  1. Take a piece of paper or posterboard and punch a hole in the middle
  2. Lay a blank piece of paper on the ground, maybe at an angle depending on the angle of the sun
  3. Kneel or stand up.  
  4. Hold the hole-punched sheet over the one on the ground so it covers with a shadow, save for a little prick of light (I said "little prick"...I know...)
  5. That little prick, if pointed right, is the sun.  Look for a dot.  That's Venus.
Here's my source for methods 1 and 2.

Want a third method?  Here's one with a bathroom hand mirror!

No excuses!  SCIENCE!!


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