Posted by William, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 5, 2012 at 9:29 am
Wow, Channel 7 said that? No, please DO NOT use binoculars to view this event unless you have proper solar filters. What you CAN do with binoculars is turn them around and project an image of the sun on something white - cover one side of the binoculars first. Limit the amount of time you do this to avoid damaging the binoculars.
Or just join us at either Vista Hill in Foothills Park or at the Foothill College Observatory, where we will have safe solar telescopes for you to look through.
Posted by musical, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:59 pm
A pinhole doesn't make a very big image unless the screen is far away, and then the image gets really dim, unless the pinhole is large, but a larger pinhole gives a blurrier image. No win situation, but try it anyway. I suspect Venus is too small to resolve with a pinhole.
Venus is barely big enough to see with your eyes through a filter unmagnified. Venus is really black, darker than any sunspot, so the contrast is great if you have good focus.
As William said, binoculars are best used (frontwards) to project an image out of the eyepiece onto a white piece of paper 2 or 3 feet away. More light and a bigger image than a pinhole. You'll need a steady hand or a tripod, and some playing around with the focus knob.
I myself have duck-taped the black plastic from official sun eclipse glasses over the front of my small cheap 10x25 binoculars to get a direct magnified view. You REALLY DON'T want the filter to slip off or your retina is toast. For telescope or binocs, the filter goes over the front, never at the eyepiece or you might see smoke from the concentrated sunlight, followed by burning eyeball.
Best bet for this once-in-a-lifetime event is to find experienced observers with the right equipment. The transit goes on for hours, so this is much less frenzied than the precious seconds of a total solar eclipse.