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A public viewing of the transit of Venus, the rare occasion when Venus passes between the earth and sun, will be held Tuesday [JUNE 5] at East Central University’s observatory just north of the ECU Physical Plant parking lot, northeast of the football stadium.

The viewing will be from 5:15 p.m. until sunset, about 8:30 p.m., if the skies are clear and the sun is visible. Venus will appear as a small black dot in front of the sun.

“The transit is not visible with the naked eye, and people should not try to see it without the proper filter and telescope or permanent eye damage may occur,” said Dr. Carl Rutledge, co-chair of ECU’s Department of Chemistry/Physics.

A transit of Venus occurs when the planet passes directly between the earth and the sun.

“Transits occur in pairs eight years apart every 113 years,” Rutledge said. “The last one was in June of 2004, and the next will be in December 2117, so this will be the last chance for people alive today to see it.”

He said everyone is invited to safely view the transit.

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