Venus Transits the Sun Tuesday for the Last Time Until 2117

It’s not too soon to start looking for eye protection and an unobstructed view to the west. This Tuesday Venus will eclipse the sun for the last time until 2117. My colleague Tom Avril wrote this fascinating story about the way David Rittenhouse and other 16th century astronomers used a transit to calculate the distance between the Earth and the sun.

Here’s what Rittenhouse wrote about the sight: "Imagination cannot form any thing more beautifully serene and quiet, than was the air during the whole time; nor did I ever see the Sun's limb more perfectly defined, or more free from any tremulous motion."

On the East Coast, the best viewing is from 6 pm until sunset. If you plan to be near Philadelphia you might want to check out this event at the Frainklin Institute. They'll make sure your eyes are safe.