Venus will be passing between the Earth and sun on June 5-6, an action that won't occur again for another 105 years. The planet will appear to be crossing in front of the sun, a sight called an astronomical transit. By taking proper precautions, sky watchers across some parts of the country will be able to witness this rare event on June 5.
Much like viewing an eclipse, to view the transit of Venus you cannot stare directly at the sun. It is extremely dangerous and could cause severe damage to your eyes. Luckily, there are many ways that you can safely view Venus as it moves over the sun.
The last time Venus "crossed in front" of the sun was in 2004. Photo courtesy of MarkGregory007
Using eclipse glasses with a solar filter (many people may still have some from the recent solar eclipse that was viewable by most of the country) can allow one to look up at the sky without the risk of permanent sight damage. You can also follow these instructions for building a pinhole camera which will allow you to track the transit.
In order to look at the sun safely through a telescope you need to purchase a solar filter. Some telescopes are even made for viewing the sun and have the filters in them. Never look at the sun through a telescope unless you are sure it has the proper filters to protect your eyes! Even photographing the sun has special requirements you must follow to stay safe.
The Venus transit will be viewable to North America the evening of June 5. NASA has created this map to highlight where the transit will be across the world. The Desert Southwest, Southern California, and some parts of Midwest will have the best weather for seeing this event. A storm moving into New England will severely limit sun visibility. AccuWeather meteorologists are currently monitoring another potential storm in the Northeast that could expand clouds over more sections of the mid-Atlantic.
A large storm coming into the Northwest will expand over the northern Rockies and create a large cloud cover across the region. A swath of of storms will cut across the lower Midwest and into the South and Tennessee Valley. Most of the rest of the country will have periods of clouds and sun. During the sunny breaks the transit should be visible.
For areas where the weather obstructs views of the transit, NASA EDGE will have a live webcam broadcast from Hawaii.