Observing Venus at this time is dangerous. With the sun just a fraction of a
degree away, it is easy for stray sunlight to sneak into optical systems, damaging
sensitive electronics and hurting human eyes. Only skilled observers taking careful
precautions should attempt it.
In space, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) will be monitoring
the conjunction. Coronagraphs onboard SOHO use opaque disks to block the
glare of the sun, revealing nearby stars and planets. It’s a type of artificial solar eclipse.
Even SOHO will have some trouble, though. On June 3rd, Venus will be so close
to the sun that it briefly dips behind the coronagraph’s opaque disks, hiding the
moment of closest approach. Ground-based observers will have to try to fill in the gap.
Browse the Realtime Venus Photo Gallery for the latest images.