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Once in a Century Cosmic Event Visible Over Desert Tonight

The Transit of Venus won’t happen again until 2117.

The skies are forecast to be clear today over most of the low desert, so those in the area will be privy to a rare cosmic event that won’t happen again for another century.

The transit—or passage—of Venus takes the planet’s orbit in between Earth and the sun tonight.  It will appear as a black dot crossing the sun, visible around sunset.

According to NASA, this sort of thing happens in pairs once every 100 years or so, and has space enthusiasts excited all over the world. The last time was in 2004, and the next time won’t be until 2117.

“The nearly 7-hour transit begins at 3:09 pm Pacific Daylight Time (22:09 UT) on June 5th,” another NASA article states.  “In the USA, the transit will be at its best around sunset.”

As with last month’s , this event happens in several phases, beginning with “first contact,” and proceeding through four more stages.  Click here for a chart of those times.

Also similar to the eclipse—you’re advised to NOT look directly at the sun, due to the extreme damage it could cause your eyes.

Rather, check out some viewing tips here.  There will also be a live stream of the event, courtesy of NASA, that you can watch here, beginning at 2:45 p.m., pacific.

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