Safe Viewing Techniques
See http://youtu.be/4RGr9FcBrSM video or read Viewing the Transit & Eye Safety at june2012/eye-safety/280-viewing-the-transit-eye-safety for definitive advice on viewing the sun safely; by B. Ralph Chou, MSc, OD.
Must-See TV (Transit Venus) Screen
At the 2003 Annual Conference of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA), participants of the make-it-and-take-it workshop constructed a device with which a crowd can view the sun safely. Download simple instructions to find parts list and suppliers.
[UPDATE: See improved instructions from 2011 ASP workshop at http://www.transitofvenus.org/docs/Build_a_Sun_Funnel.pdf.]
Basically, a variety of inexpensive parts...
... and experimental designs...
...led to the final two products.
Donors generously contributed alternative sun-viewing resources. Learning Technologies, Inc. contributed a Sunspotter. Rainbow Symphony contributed a pair of Solar Shades for every conference delegate. And Ray Shubinski set up a solar telescope. Images courtesy of Gene Zajac.The sun, seen here as a SOHO photo from that day, put on a spectacular show. Image courtesy of SOHO (ESA & NASA).
Love is blind! Engraving from Harper's Weekly magazine (April 28, 1883) shows a woman viewing the transit of Venus through a telescope. Doing so with no solar filter would result in instant eye damage and likely blindness. Do not let June 5, 2012, be your blind date--use proper observing equipment and common sense.
Color image at http://www.nmm.ac.uk/rog/Transit%20of%20Venus.jpg
Unattended Equipment Hazards
"Just to underscore the necessity of keeping constant watch on your telescope while it's pointed at the Sun... I was running a basic astronomy class lab in Tucson while I was in grad school one day, and we were observing the Sun with a white-light filter. I had placed a film container over the finder as usual. But apparently not firmly enough: it fell off at one point, and I didn't notice it.
One undergrad had come in her pajamas and bathrobe, believe it or not (it was an early-morning class). While she was peering intently through the main eyepiece, I noticed some smoke starting to come from the shoulder of her bathrobe. Sure enough, the finder had set her robe on fire! or at least smoldering..."
Viewing the sun without proper equipment and/or techniques can result in serious eye injury and blindness. The solar observing descriptions and comments listed in this website are not an endorsement of any particular technique or product. Observers are responsible for their own eye safety. This website accepts no responsibility for the conduct of others in viewing the sun. For definitive advise on observing the sun, see Viewing the Transit & Eye Safety, by Dr. B. Ralph Chou, at http://www.transitofvenus.org/june2012/eye-safety/280-viewing-the-transit-eye-safety.
For observers who refuse to view the sun safely--Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan.