LOS ANGELES — Yes, it's true. You can damage your eyes by staring at the sun. People need to remember that as they turn to the skies to watch the silhouette of Venus march across the face of the sun Tuesday from the Western Hemisphere. Known as a transit of Venus, this won't happen again until 2117.
There are a few ways to protect yourself:
- Wear special viewing glasses such as solar eclipse glasses. You can buy them online or at your local museum. Alternatively, you can go to a hardware store and get a pair of welder's glasses, but make sure it's number 14 or darker. Or make a pinhole projector with cardboard. Do not watch the transit with regular sunglasses.
- Peer through telescopes outfitted with special filters at viewing parties hosted by museums, observatories and astronomy clubs. Many will also have experts on hand who could talk about the history and significance of a Venus transit. Laws Observatory on the fifth floor of MU's Physics Building is hosting a viewing event from 5 p.m. to sunset.
- Tune in online. NASA, Slooh.com and the Exploratorium in San Francisco are among those that plan live webcasts.