• Venus to pass directly between the Earth, sun this evening

    By: John Ahrens

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity outside on Tuesday evening.

    Around 6 p.m., you will be able to see the planet Venus pass directly between the Earth and the sun.

    This has only happened 54 times in the past 4,000 years. The last time it happened was in 2004, but you could only see it in the Middle East. The next time it happens will be in the year 2117.

    The reason it’s so rare is because both the orbits of Venus and the Earth are tilted, so getting them all to line up like this is uncommon.

    But if you want to see it, you have to be careful. Just like looking at a solar eclipse, it's extremely dangerous for your eyes.

    Normal sunglasses won't protect you, and neither will the clouds outside.

    If by chance you have welder’s glasses or a telescope with solar filters, that works. Or you can make a pinhole projector like many people did in elementary school science class.

    Assuming you are looking at it safely, NASA scientists said you can't miss it.

    “You'll be able to see obviously that it’s a dot on the sun,” said NASA astrophysicist Sten Odenwald. “You won't have to squint or do anything like that. It will be pretty obvious.”

    Again, the event starts at 6 p.m., and the sun will be setting shortly after 8:30 p.m.

    For more information, click here.

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