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Public is Invited to June 5 Transit of Venus Viewing at MTSU

MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy professor Eric Klumpe will lead a special Transit of Venus Star Party, which will be held Tuesday, June 5, from 5 until 8 p.m. at the observatory next to Old Main Circle.

Transits occur when a planet crosses between Earth and the sun. Only Mercury and Venus, which are closer to the sun than Earth, can experience this alignment. In this transit, Venus will look like a black dot going across the face of the sun for about a six-hour period. The Transit of Venus will not occur again until the year 2117.

Klumpe, associate professor Chuck Higgins and MTSU Astronomy Club students will be setting up telescopes for viewing, offering safe viewing options, discussion about the transit and answering questions from the general public.

Department officials urge people to use properly approved eye protection, representational viewing processes or live streaming video fees on your computer to watch the transit. People should not look directly at the sun; otherwise, your eyesight may become damaged.

People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.