Just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday skygazers and amateurs alike had the opportunity to see a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event commonly referred to as the Transit of Venus.
Just as Venus passed between the Earth and the Sun at 5:04 p.m., about 20 Stillwater area residents gathered at Stillwater High School to see the event.
A "transit" of Venus occurs when Venus passes between us and the Sun in such a way that we can see Venus's silhouette backlit by the Sun's brilliant light. It last happened in 2004, but won't happen again until 2117. Unless you plan to shatter some human longevity records, this is probably your last chance.
"It's pretty cool," Stillwater Area High School sophomore Peter Lehmann said Tuesday evening. "It's really awesome to take what I've learned in class and see it in real life."
And that's exactly what the public viewing at Stillwater Area High School is all about, Astronomy Teacher Jeff Ranta said.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity you just can't replicate," he said. "It gives me a chance to tell and share stories, and that's what it's all about. This is the real event and by viewing this I am able to relate it to real science."
Following Tuesday's celestial event, Ranta said he looks forward to telling stories and having students share thier photos in class, as well as use the experience in the classroom in years to come.
After returning home from seeing the real deal, Lehmann said he planned on searching for professional photos online.
Check out Ripple in Stillwater's post about the Transit of Venus here. If you took photos of the transit, please add them to this post.