Eclipse, schmeclipse -- if you want to see a really unique astronomical event, head to the Natural History Museum of Utah tonight.
Today marks a one of the rare occasions when Venus' orbit takes it directly across the face of the sun from viewing points on Earth. While the last transit was only eight years ago, the next isn't going to occur until 2117.
The NHMU, in association with the Salt Lake Astronomical Society and the University of Utah's Departments of Physics and Astronomy, will be hosting special events today for education and for viewing the event. Beginning at 3 p.m., the museum will feature hands-on activities and informational stations on physics and astronomy. The transit begins at 4:05 p.m. and will last until 10:48 p.m., with optimum viewing coming at around 7:45 p.m. The museum will offer 14 telescope viewing stations on the museum terraces staffed by Astronomical Society assistants throughout the transit, and will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight only for extended viewing opportunities.
The events are free with regular museum admission; the first 200 admissions after 3 p.m. will receive free solar glasses.