BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A little after 6 p.m. until sunset at 8:50 p.m., WNYers will be able to witness one the rarest predictable events in astronomy: the Transit of Venus.
"What happens with a transit is that Venus ends up being exactly between Earth and the sun, so we will see the disk of Venus passing through the sun. This is a very rare occurrence. The last time it happened was eight years ago and the next time it will happen is in a 105 years," explained Kevin Williams, director of the Whitworth Ferguson planetarium.
The Buffalo State College Planetarium will be showing a video of the history of the transit and there will also be a viewing at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
If you want to get a good look at the Transit of Venus then you will want to use #14 welding glass. That means you would see things 14 times darker than you normally would, protecting your eyes from the sun. News 4 went to Strate Welding and asked about the significance of this strength of glass.
"Think about a light bulb and you have got that going across tungsten. As you go up in watts it becomes brighter and brighter. When welding that arc is even brighter than that," said Russell Strate, Jr., Strate Welding Company president.
And with the sun being extremely bright, you want to protect your eyes. Strate sold out of the #14 glass because it isn't very common. You can improvise though with two more common types, combining #5 and #9.
"This is the second time it is going to happen in this century and then I am not going to be around for the next one. I want to see it, it's like an eclipse, it's really exciting," said one visitor to the planetarium.
The planetarium will show their video and then a feed of the NASA viewing at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. at a cost of $3.
The Buffalo Museum of Science will have their viewing from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at a cost of $5.
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