Photo via Wikimedia

If you thought Manhattanhenge was a sight for sore eyes, be sure to check out tonight’s once-in-a-lifetime Transit of Venus eclipse, but be warned that it might give you sore eyes – literally. The rare event will be visible (weather-willing) from New York City for the few hours before sundown and won’t happen again for another 105 years, but experts caution amateur astronomers not to gaze up at it with naked eyes. For those that are hoping to catch a glimpse of this out-of-this-world view, astronomy-lovers will be setting up viewing stations with special solar glasses and safety telescopes around the city so read on to see where you can find the one closest to you.

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Photo via Wikimedia

So what exactly is the transit of Venus? In essence, the event is an eclipse except that instead of the moon moving in front of the sun, it will be the planet Venus. In New York City (if the weather cooperates), we’ll be able to see the transit for a couple of hours as the sun sets in the west at 8:24PM.

For those on the Upper West Side, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York will be hosting a public event at Pier I Cafe and will have equipment available to view the TOV safely. They will have solar viewing telescopes, pinhole cameras and projection equipment and will be “open as long as they’ll serve us beer!”

If you’re closer to Chelsea, another spot that’ll likely be filled with transit-gazers is the 14th street section of the High Line park. Or if you prefer to be right on the water for the event, NYSkies Astronomy Inc. is setting up their viewing eqiuipment at the concrete pier at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, at 12th Avenue and 46th Street.

Happy and safe transit-viewing everyone!

Via NY Times and Amateur Astronomers Association of New York