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What to do tonight: View Venus--it's the chance of a lifetime!

What are you doin’ tonight from 6 p.m. ‘til sundown? Well, whatever fun plans you’ve got, think about fitting in a little time to check out Venus as it passes between the Earth and the Sun. Tonight will be your only chance to see the planet make this move until December 2117. But be careful because you shouldn’t be looking at the Sun with your naked eye, or even with some sweet shades. In order to see this super-cool planet, you need to make yourself a projector using some binoculars. Here’s how:



1. Grab some duct tape, and attach a pair of binoculars to a tripod.

2. Get a piece of cardboard. Trace the front circles (meaning the large end) of the binoculars on it, and cut them out.

3. Stick the binoculars through the holes you cut out, and tape the cardboard in place.

4. Put the lens cap on one of the binocular lenses, or just tape over it. (You’re only gonna need one to view the Sun.)

5. Plug any holes in the cardboard or around the lenses with more duct tape.

6. Get a white piece of cardboard, and hold it about a foot away from the back end (the small part) of the binoculars.

7. Scooch the tripod around ‘til ya see a pic of the Sun on your cardboard, and then you can focus the binoculars to make it clearer.

8. Watch history unfold as Venus makes its move!


Just a note – be careful not to put your hands or anything that might catch fire near the back lens of your binoculars. That’s some strong Sun you’re catchin’ there, and ya don’t want it to burn anything. In fact, you might wanna move your binoculars out of the sun for a little bit, just to give them a break from the heat every once in a while. They could get messed up if ya keep ‘em trained on that burnin’ ball all night.


For more viewing tips, check out MSNBC’s awesome guide to the Venus transit HERE. Will you be watching this afternoon?


BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 6/5/2012 2:36:00 PM

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