Get ready for a rare astronomical and skywatching event Tuesday— the passage of the planet Venus across the face of the sun.
Locally, the 2012 Venus transit will begin about 6:00 p.m. and continue until the sun sets around 9:16 p.m. It will be visible in its entirety only from the western Pacific, eastern Asia and eastern Australia and at high northern latitudes.
If you can’t make it to Hawaii or the Exploration Center at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field in California to observe the LIVE broadcast you can watch the Live NASA EDGE broadcast from Mauna Kea, HI here.
Transits of Venus are rare, happening in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June's transit, the bookend of a 2004/2012 pair, won't be repeated until the year 2117, according to the NASA website.
Often referred to as the "Evening Star" or "Morning Star," Venus is the brightest natural object in our sky after the Sun and the Moon. As the second planet from the Sun, it's closer to the Sun than the Earth is.
They have been observed only eight times since the invention of the telescope (some accounts say the number is seven).
"The sun represents our ego and sense of self, and Venus represents what we want," astrologer and author Donna Stellhorn. "When Venus crosses in front of the sun, what we want becomes more important than anything else. So our focus will be on what we want and it's up to us to make it happen."
NASA will webcast the transit from the summit of Mauna Kea, HI.
Click here for Venus transit of 2012 tips on how to see Venus cross the face of the sun in this SPACE.com infographic.
Looking for a good place to watch? Many astrology clubs are hosting Venus Transit viewing parties across Michigan.
So, what will you see? Over a seven-hour span, Venus will trek across the solar disk, appearing in silhouette as a slow-moving tiny black dot, weather permitting, according to the NASA website.
"Only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope," said astrophysicist Sten Odenwald, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in a statement.
The key to watching it is to find an unobstructed view of the horizon. It is recommended observors watch from the top of a high building. The Venus transit will occur near the lower rim of the sun, according to NASA.
The transit will be visible to the naked eye but experts say it's never a good idea to stare directly at the sun. Use eclipse shades or a telescope lens filter.