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Christmas Gift Guide

Transit of Venus

Griffith Observatory

Venus approaches the Sun

No. 14 welder's glass filter

No. 14 welder's glass filter

Griffith Observatory's Coelostat

Coelostat throught the iPad

Spectrohelioscope

The Spectrohelioscope

Transit of Venus

LA from above

Venus Transit

Griffith Observatory lawn

The Sun through a No. 14 welder's glass filter

No. 14 welder's glass filter

Griffith Observatory in the Los Angeles hills

Deck at Griffith Observatory

Projected image

Looking skyward

Starring at the Sun

This afternoon, Venus began its "transit" across the face of the sun as the planet passed directly between the Sun and Earth, a rare and spectacular sight for skywatchers. The next transit will take place in 2117.

While in Los Angeles for the Electronics Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, we paid a visit to the Griffith Observatory, where hundreds gathered to gaze through homemade telescopes and the observatory's own powerful eyes.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, where hundreds of people gathered Tuesday on the lawn to see Venus as it passes between the Earth and the sun.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite captures Venus transit approach.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/SDO, AIA
Hobbyist astronomers brought dozens of telescopes to the lawn in front of the Griffith Observatory. Here, CNET's Daniel Terdiman hold a filter of No. 14 welder's glass, which provided a perfect viewing filter.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
This cropped RAW photo was taken with a Canon 5DMKII and a 200mm lens at 3:36 p.m. PT through the No. 14 welder's glass filter at the Griffith Observatory.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Griffith Observatory's Coelostat telescopes projects an image of the sun directly into the west rotunda of the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
CNET's Daniel Terdiman take a photo of the Griffith Observatory's Coelostat projection with an iPad. Venus is visible in the lower right corner of the inverted telescope image.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The Spectrohelioscope is a telescope with a hydrogen-alpha filter. Sunlight is projected from the roof, through the filter, and can observe any wavelength of sunlight.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Looking into the spectrohelioscope projection, you see red light from hydrogen atoms. The black dot is Venus seen against the red colored Sun.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Ultra-high definition view of 2012 Venus Transit in the 304 Angstrom filter by the Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/SDO, HMI
Downtown Los Angeles is seen from the Griffith Observatory in the hills.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
NASA's Solar Dynamics observatory satellite captures the 2012 Venus transit on June 5, 2012.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/SDO, HMI
The Hollywood sign visible in the background, the lawn at Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory was filled with hundreds of of people and telescopes there to observe the transit of Venus across the sun.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
This cropped RAW photo was taken with a Canon 5DMKII and a 200mm lens at 4:14 p.m. PT through a No. 14 welder's glass filter at the Griffith Observatory.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
This cropped RAW photo was taken with a Canon 5DMKII and a 200mm lens at 4:15 p.m. PT through a No. 14 welder's glass filter at the Griffith Observatory.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The Griffith Observatory perched in the Los Angeles hills hosted hundreds of people to watch the transit of Venus Tuesday.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Dozens of telescopes were brought out and people lined up to watch the transit of Venus from the Griffith Observatory Tuesday.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
A telescope projects an image of Venus passing between the Earth and the sun on Tuesday on the deck at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
People lined up to see the transit through telescopes on the deck at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles onTuesday.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Many spent the afternoon laying on the lawn at Griffith Observatory looking at the sun through filtered glasses.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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