The jury is still out on whether it's going to usher in the age of Aquarius, but the alignment of Earth, Venus and the sun is going to produce at least one cool effect.
The transit of Venus occurs in pairs once in a century as the planet lines up directly between the Earth and the sun, appearing to the naked eye as a black dot silhouetted against the sun. With the last transit in June 2004 not visible in Austin, the transit occurring on Tuesday evening is the only chance locals will have to see the rare phenomenon. The next transit is predicted to occur on Dec. 8, 2125.
To celebrate the celestial phenomenon, astronomy buffs can head to the roof of Robert Lee Moore Hall on the University of Texas campus, starting Tuesday at about 5:00 p.m. More information is available on the university’s Astronomy Outreach website. They'll have several solar telescopes available and they will show video in a room at RLM Hall for those who cannot climb the stairs to the roof.
It's best not to look directly into the sun, so if you want to watch on your own, use solar glasses, solar telescopes or a solar projection device to view the transit safely.
The transit of Venus will begin locally at 5:05 p.m. when Venus first touches the sun's disk, and the planet will appear entirely inside the disk of the sun at about 5:25 p.m. Venus will be visible in Austin until 8:30 p.m.