The East Valley Astronomy Club at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory located at Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is set to mark two events in the sky through specialized solar-equipped telescopes.
Beginning at 5:15 p.m. Sunday, you’ll be able to view the annual solar eclipse. The event lasts for two hours, with the major portion of the eclipse visible about 6:30 p.m. Sunset is about 7:30 p.m., which is before the event has fully cleared.
The high-powered telescope at the facility cannot see below about 16 degrees, so a series of smaller solar telescopes will be used, and positioned on the west side of and along the walk area that surround the observatory.
Then, beginning at 3 p.m. June 5, Venus can be viewed passing in front of the sun. Venus will only block out about 3 percent of the disk, but with solar filters on the telescopes, it will be able to be viewed in a very rare transit. This condition will not repeat until the year 2117, according to a news release.
Viewing will take place with the powerful observatory telescope during the first three hours, as well as with individual telescopes for the length of the event.