This Tuesday, June 5th, 2012, stop playing your game of choice, step away from your keyboard, go outside, and look up. Actually, you should prepare a bit first, but if you go out on Tuesday, you can bear witness to an event that will not occur again in your lifetime. On June 5th (the 6th in some places), you can see something that will not happen again until 2117 – the Transit of Venus.
The Transit of Venus is when the planet Venus moves between the Sun and the Earth. When this occurs, you can see the silhouette of Venus as a black dot moving across the face of the Sun. You should not look directly at the Sun to see this, but use one of the techniques listed at the Sky and Telescope site.
In the past, the Transit of Venus was used to determine the distance of the Earth from the Sun, and now a planetary transit (not of Venus) is what allows astronomers to detect extra-solar planets around other stars.
Here are some other resources if you want to find out more about this rare celestial event:
And of course there is an app for this:
Take the time away from gaming for a bit and experience a once in a lifetime event.