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Venus To Be Part Of Upcoming Rare Sky Show

| Filed under: Etc.Science!

Venus Solar Event

Not Venus Williams, but we ARE sad she got knocked out of the 2012 French Open so quickly…

We're talking about the planet Venus!

In a show that won't happen again for a century, that planetary neighbor of ours is about to put on quick the spectacle!

It's called the Transit of Venus, and if you don't see it when it happens, you won't ever get to see it again — unless our life expectancies grow dramatically!

It's going to happen Tuesday afternoon from the Western Hemisphere and Wednesday morning from the Eastern Hemisphere.

Museums and schools around the globe are hosting Venus viewing festivities and astronauts aboard the International Space Station plan to observe the rare event.

This is much like a solar eclipse, so do not stare directly at the sun; wear special protective glasses.

If you do, you'll see Venus appear as a small black dot gliding across the disk of the sun — and it will take 6 hours and 40 minutes to make it's journey.

If you're on the west coast, you'll see it as the sun sets.

On the east? When the sun rises.

The prime viewing spot is in Hawaii. Not only is it tropical, but it's the only place you'll be able to see the full 6 hours and 40 minutes of travel.

There's no HUGE moment though, as it happens so slowly. And if you aren't looking, you'd never know it was happening.

Only SEVEN of these transits have been observed since the first time it was noticed.

So cool!

[Image via AP Images.]

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