Title: Transit of Venus Workshop:
How to Make a “Must See TV” Screen
Names: Chuck Bueter
Shaker Hts. High School
15911 Aldersyde Rd.
Shaker Hts., OH 44129
On June 8, 2004, Venus will transit the sun—a phenomenon so rare it has not been
witnessed by any human now alive. We present an inexpensive device with which a group of people can safely witness a magnified view of the transit of Venus. Observers can also use the rear-projection device to track sunspots without risk of eye injury. See http://www.transitofvenus.org/tvscreen.htm for instructions and supporting images.
In preparing for the transit of Venus on June 8, 2004, workshop participants assembled a rear-screen projection device that slides into a 1.25-inch telescope focuser. The “Must
See TV (Transit of Venus)” Screen, when properly assembled and used, allows a group of
people to view a magnified image of the sun simultaneously without the risk of eye injury. After a brief transit of Venus tutorial, we also presented alternative methods for viewing the transit of Venus safely.
Below are the list of inexpensive materials, the suppliers we used, and simple instructions to make the device. See http://www.transitofvenus.org/tvscreen.htm for supporting
To use the TV Screen, simply slide the eyepiece, topped by the funnel and screen, into the telescope focuser and aim the telescope at the sun. Be sure to follow normal safety
protocols when viewing the sun, including (but not limited to) stopping down the
telescope aperture if necessary, removing the finderscope to prevent accidental exposure, and aligning the telescope by indirect methods so as not to look directly at the sun. When
Stretch the projection screen material over the wide end of the funnel and secure it snugly with the large clamp. Be sure to eliminate wrinkles so that the surface is taut like a drum. The material will stretch easily.
Slide the eyepiece into the narrow end of the funnel so the viewing end of the eyepiece is within the funnel and secure the eyepiece with the smaller clamp. The slits in the narrow end of the tube allow for a variety of different diameters of eyepieces. Insert the eyepiece into a telescope and you are ready to project an image of the sun.
If you use a # 12 yellow filter, the projected image will appear more natural in color.
For images of a larger, bucket-sized device, see
The TV Screen is modified from Bruce Hegerberg ’s original Sun Gun at