Ever since he read about the transit of Venus, Quintin Peterson, 12, said he couldn’t wait to view the astronomical event.
Peterson was so excited about the event that with the help of his dad he made a special pair of binoculars to view it.
“It’s truly a once in a lifetime event,” he said. “The next time it happens me and my parents we’ll all be six-feet under.”
He was one of many children and adults, astronomy buffs and the curious, who were watching the transit of Venus on Rotary Hill near the on Tuesday. The transit began just after 5 p.m.
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.
A "transit" of Venus occurs when Venus passes between Earth and the Sun in such a way that we on Earth see Venus's silhouette backlit by the Sun's brilliant light. It last happened in 2004, but it won't happen again until 2117.
In the Midwest, the next time a transit of Venus will actually be visible will be in 2125, said Rick Betuker, a member of the Naperville Astronomical Association.
The day couldn’t have been more perfect for viewing the transit, with hardly a cloud in the sky and bright sunny skies, Buteker said.
“It’s rare and easy to share with people,” he said.
The transit brought out astronomy buffs with a wide variety of telescopes in sizes big and smaller. The members of the Naperville Astronomical Association willingly shared a view of Venus’ passing in front of the sun with the people in attendance.
Tim Nunes, of Lisle, is a new member of the association. He grew up with an interest in astronomy, but when he became a teenager he lost interest. That was until as an adult he could afford to buy his own telescope.
“We grew up seeing them as stars, but we don’t think of them as planets,” he said of planets like Venus. “The neat thing about this is with glasses you can actually see a planet.”
Members of the Naperville Astronomical Association had special glasses available that allowed people to view the transit.
Anne Curry brought her daughters to the viewing after she Googled the special glasses needed and found that the Naperville Astronomical Association was hosting the event.
Her daughter Chelsea, 11, has a particular interest in astronomy. Curry said she wouldn’t doubt that one day her daughter would go into space.
“It’s big,” Chelsea said. “It’s like your one chance, if you don’t see it now, you’re never gonna see it.”