Webster, N.Y.— It is rare, astronomical phenomenon. The Transit of Venus. It takes place when Venus passes directly between the sun and the earth.
If you missed it Tuesday afternoon, you’re out of luck. That is, unless, you stay alive until 2117.
Hundreds of Rochester-area sky-gazers were transfixed as Venus made its way across the sun. Dozens of amateur astronomers line the shores of Lake Ontario at Webster Park.
“Today is a very special day,” says Joe Altieri, Vice President of Rochester Academy of Science’s Astronomy branch. “This is one of the rarest astronomical events you can see.”
Several people brought out their top-of-the-line telescopes. Other used household items like aluminum, binoculars and shoeboxes to view the sun.
The Transit of Venus comes around in pairs, eight years apart. The first of the pair came in 2004. The next one won’t come until 105 and 113 years from now.
It’s a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity and Massachusetts resident, George East, was going to do whatever he could to see Venus.
On Tuesday morning, he drove 300 miles to Webster to escape the clouds and rain in Massachusetts. The weather was clear over Lake Ontario. He couldn’t have asked for better weather.
“I am very ecstatic that it is actually clear,” East says. “That was not at all certain when I left home.”
Those who saw Venus on Tuesday say the event was a humbling experience
“It kind of puts us in perspective,” says Alteiri. “The perspective of our place in space and the idea of where we are and why we're here. It just lets the imagination go wild.”