Join a live +Virtual Star Party with scientist +Fraser Cain tomorrow - more details below.
Join our live coverage of the Transit of Venus, right here on Google+

Venus will make a rare transit across the face of the Sun on June 5/6, and for this historic event, we'll be coordinating unprecedented live coverage right here on Google+.  

Starting at 20:00 UTC (2:00 p.m. PDT, 5 pm EDT) on Tuesday, June 5, a live 8-hour Hangout on Air will provide views from around the world using multiple telescopes along with commentary from astronomers, space scientists and other guests. 

Viewers will also have the chance to interact and ask questions about this rare and historical event to learn more about its significance to aiding our understanding of the Solar System.

I'll be teaming up with +Pamela Gay and +Philip Plait and many more special guests. During this 8-hour marathon, we'll provide information on how you can safely observe this event for yourself, as well as sharing telescope views from around the world (New Zealand, Canada, California, Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, and more) . 

The transit will be broadcast as a live Google+ Hangout on Air, and on YouTube live. It will also be embeddable on any website that wants to share live coverage of the transit.

We'll also be showcasing photographs and other coverage from the public, astronomers and even space telescopes. 

Watch the transit live, right here on Google+
If you want to watch, circle any one of us, and you'll see it in your feed. You'll be able to then watch the live coverage in your browser, just like any YouTube Video. You can also circle the +Virtual Star Party page. You can also use the hashtag #venushangout  to get our attention on Google+ or Twitter.

Some transit science and history
A transit like this occurs when Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun. Viewers will see Venus as a small dot gliding slowly across a portion of the Sun.  Historically, viewed by Captain James Cook and other famous astronomers from days gone by, this rare alignment is how we originally measured the size of our solar system.

There have been 53 transits since 2000 B.C. but only six transits of Venus have been observed since the invention of the telescope more than 400 years ago. There were no transits of Venus from 1882 to 2004, and the next one won’t take place until 2117.  The last time the event occurred was on June 8, 2004, and was viewed by millions worldwide. This year, observers on six continents and a small portion of Antarctica will be in position to see at least part of it. 
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