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Rare chance to see Venus in transition at Chimney Rock

This certainly will be a “once in a lifetime” viewing at the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area. Venus passing in front of the sun is a rare event which will not happen again until Dec. 11, 2117. Visitors will meet at the cabin lecture area at 3 p.m. on June 5, for an explanation of the transit and to get the special glasses needed for looking at the sun.

Next, visitors will drive to the upper parking lot where there are telescopes with special filters for looking into the sun.

The transit begins at 4:05 p.m. and will still be in progress at sunset at 8:24 p.m.

Before dark, visitors will meet in the flat area on the lower south side of the parking lot for our new moon viewing program. There will be a brief lecture on the ancient people who lived here and what we may be able to see on the moon. We will surely see the moon as the ancients never did. We may see geologic features, including maria or dark “seas,” lighter continents and innumerable craters caused by meteors of all sizes.

The upper parking area is paved and wheelchair accessible, with restroom facilities. Bring insect repellent, flashlight, water, and clothing and blankets to keep warm after the sun sets.

Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children 11 years and younger. Reservations are required, as space is limited. If not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Cabin prior to the program.

Ticket purchase is considered a donation and is non-refundable.

For reservations, call the visitor cabin at (970) 883-5359 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

This event is sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Association, Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest and the Pagosa Ranger District.

Editor’s note: Last week’s article incorrectly stated the admission price for the program. Please note the corrected admission.

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