Observing The Transit of Venus: Easy “Backs to the Sun” Pin-Hole Viewers & Blood Orange Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Observing The Transit of Venus

This evening, Venus will appear to cross in front of the Sun. The first half of this event, known as the Transit of Venus, occurred in 2004. Tonight’s event is the twin or second part of the Transit which follows eight years after the first. A pair of crossings such as this occurs only about once each century! The next Transit of Venus won’t take place until 2117!

To celebrate this rare occurrence, we are making pinhole viewers with which to watch the transit saftely, that is, by keeping our BACKS TO THE SUN! And we have come up with a recipe for some celebratory cookies: Blood Orange Sugar Cookie Suns crossed by a Dark Chocolate Venus in Transit.


Since we didn’t have time to pick up the special eclipse glasses required for tonight’s event, we are TURNING OUR BACKS TO THE SUN and constructing quick and easy Pin-Hole Viewers.

Basic Materials
Thick White Cardstock or Posterboard
“Fancy” Materials (optional)
Thin Wooden Dowels
Hot Glue/Gun

It takes about 1 minute to make a pin-hole viewer for an eclipse or transit.
Simply take a thick piece of cardboard or cardstock and use a sharp pin or needle to poke a hole into the center of the cardstock.
Standing with your back to the sun, hold the card in front of you.
Observe the eclipse or transit against a wall in front of you, upon the sidewalk, or upon a second blank piece of cardstock which you hold below your pinhole viewer.

We made some fancier viewers by cutting pairs of hearts and circles out of thick white poster paper.
Then, we used a sharp pin to poke a hole into the center of one heart or circle from each pair.
Finally, using a hot glue gun, we attached thin dowels to the backs of all of our hearts and circles.
Stand with your back to the sun, hold the shape with the pinhole above the unpinned shape, et voila!
We’ll be using these tonight!!!


Blood Orange Sugar Cookie Suns Crossed by Dark Chocolate Venus in Transit

Blood Orange Sugar Cookie Suns Crossed by Dark Chocolate Venus in Transit

Makes 48 (recipe may easily be halved)
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 blood oranges: zest of both and 1/4 cup juice reserved
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom optional
  • 1/2 tsp cloves optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • red and yellow food colouring optional
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips or your chip/candy of choice


  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • In a mixer or with a sturdy wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add the eggs and beat for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the zest, juice, spices and extract and beat until incorporated.
  • Add baking powder, soda, and flour and beat more slowly until incorporated.
  • If you would like the cookies to have a true orange tint, add drops of red and yellow food colouring.
  • Using two tablespoons, drop dough onto parchment-lined pans, flattening each drop cookie just slightly with the back of a spoon.
  • Nestle three chocolate chips together (almost on top of one another) towards one edge of each cookie.
  • Bake approximately 10 minutes.
  • If so desired, use the tine of a fork to swirl the three chocolate chips into one united Venus just after baking.
  • Cool cookies on wire racks.

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