Get ready for a rare astronomical and skywatching event on Tuesday, June 5: The passage or transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun.
Locally, the transit will begin about 3:09 p.m. PDT on June 5 and will be visible in its entirety only from the western Pacific, eastern Asia, and eastern Australia and at high northern latitudes. It will take place on June 6 for skywatchers in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Folks interested in viewing the phenomenon that don't have access to a telescope with a filter or eclipse shades can observe the transit at events hosted by Palomar College and Cal State San Marcos. The viewings are free and open to the public.
The colleges will have telescopes set up at 2:30 p.m. at the Palomar planetarium, turn right on Comet Cricle and park for free in Lot 5; and Cal State San Marcos will hold a viewing beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Double Peak Park in San Elijo Hills. Unlike an eclipse, you'll have about seven hours to check out the rare occurence.
The Transit of Venus happens in pairs, every century, the last time it occurred was in 2004, and it will not come again until 2117. Such an event has been observed in the modern era only six times previously.
"The sun represents our ego and sense of self and Venus represents what we want," said Laguna Niguel resident, astrologer and author, "When Venus crosses in front of sun, what we want becomes more important than anything else. So our focus will be on what we want and it's up to us to make it happen."
While some may think like this daily, this is an opportunity to really be clear on what you desire in life, she added.
NASA is going to webcast it from a top the summit of Mauna Kea, HI.
You can click here for Venus transit of 2012 tips on how to see Venus cross the face of the sun in this SPACE.com infographic.
So, what will you see? Over a seven-hour span, Venus will trek across the solar disk, appearing in silhouette as a slow-moving tiny black dot, weather permitting, according to the NASA website.
"Only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope," said astrophysicist Sten Odenwald, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in a statement.
How to Watch
The key to watching it is to find an unobstructed view of the horizon. It is recommended that you observe from the top of a high building. In East County, Cowles Mt. is a good viewing spot. The transit will occur near the lower rim of the sun, according to NASA.
The transit will be visible to the
Local Astrologer Offers Venus Insights
Stellhorn says that Venus, the "planet of love and money" has been retrograde since May 15 and will continue to be so through June 27. And with it: "she brings a whole set of challenges...and opportunities."
"Venus represents our desires, what we really want especially in the area of physical comfort, possessions and in matters of the heart. The other planets rule things like thinking, action, learning and expertise but Venus is the reason we feel motivated to get things done. Venus embodies our wishes and inspires us to take action to fulfill those desires," Stellhorn says.
Venus turns backward to give us an opportunity to see if what we want, is truly is what we want. Astologers believe his is a time to look at goals and dreams, and see if they're still valid.
Venus is also the planet of love and when it's retrograde it can bring back lovers from the past. In this age of social media it's so easy for our past to find us. You can expect someone to surface who you haven't heard from in a while. Venus retrograde can also cause us to question our current relationship, she adds.
Stellhorn also says that during this time, be upfront about what you want from your partner and not be shy about asking for it. If you're looking for love then you're in luck because Venus retrograde can bring several choices. But be careful about jumping in too quickly. Take it slowly, at least until the end of June.