The Houston Museum of Natural Science is inviting the public to watch a rare event tomorrow afternoon when Venus will transit the Sun, appearing as a black dot against the background of the Sun.
To give the public every opportunity to see this special celestial event, the museum will provide telescopes with filters to safely observe the Sun.
The telescopes will be available near the sundial at the museum’s main location at Hermann Park, at the George Observatory in Fort Bend County and at the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land.
The museum will also have special solar glasses, the same kind used to watch eclipses, for purchase at all three locations.
At the Hermann Park location, festivities will also include a DJ and food trucks, along with crafts and activities for the kids.
The event will go on from 4 – 6 p.m., with the beginning of the transit occurring at 5:09 p.m.
Museum officials said this will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Transit of Venus. Transits of Venus occur in pairs eight years apart, and then not again for more than a century. Because of the way Venus’s orbit is aligned, transits occur only in June or December.
This is the second of this pair of transits. The other, not visible in Houston, occurred in June 2004.
The next transit visible to Houstonians will occur on the morning of Dec. 8, 2125.