Mercury Transit 2003 - Venus Transit 2004
NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH UNPROTECTED EYES - THIS MAY CAUSE TOTAL BLINDNESS WITHIN SECONDS! ALWAYS BE SURE TO USE PROPER OPTICAL FILTERS TO PROTECT YOUR EYES. NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY THROUGH A TELESCOPE TOWARDS THE SUN, EVEN WITH FILTERS (ONLY PROFESSIONALS WELL VERSED IN THESE MATTERS MAY DO SO)!
Everybody who intends to watch the Venus Transit in the sky is urged to read the following information carefully!
All observations of objects in the sky that are located in the general direction of the Sun are DANGEROUS! Precautions must be taken to avoid damaging eyesight!
Observers of Mercury and Venus Transits should be aware that the safety code for these events is even more strict than for a solar eclipse . While the strong light from the Sun almost disappears during a total solar eclipse, the largest "darkening" of the Sun during the Venus transit is only about one-tenth of one percent (0.001)! This simply means that the Sun will be as dangerous for our eyesight at the time of the Venus Transit as it is on any normal day, when there is no planet in front of the solar disc.
Information about the "Solar Eclipse Safety Code" is available at many websites and safety filters (" solar eclipse viewers ") are provided by many companies in different countries. Always be sure to use properly certified products!
Basic safety information may be found, e.g., at:
- Solar Eclipse Safety Code
- The VT-2004 National Node in Portugal has established a close collaboration with the Portuguese Ministry of Health, the Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology, the Astronomic Observatory of Lisbon and the Portuguese National Association of Pharmacies in order to carry out a public campaign of prevention. Extensive information about correct safety measures will be found (in Portuguese and partly in English) via these weblinks.
- Recommendations for observations by schoolclasses will be found at the Kids Area (page 5) and in the PP-Presentation by Rostislav Halas (pages 6 - 8)
- A medical description [ Word - PDF] by Dr. Fulvio Parentin (Children's Hospital "Burlo Garofolo", Trieste) of sunlight-induced ocular disorders, kindly made available by Dr. Mauro Messerotti (INAF - Trieste Astronomical Observatory)
- Sky & Space - SOBOMEX
Links to suppliers from these pages do not imply any particular recommendations by the VT-2004 programme.
The drawing below shows how to observe the PROJECTED IMAGE of the Sun - this is the SAFEST METHOD!
How to project an image of the Sun.