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Space Science

Venus To Transit the Sun In June, Not Again Until 2117 143

revealingheart writes with this quote from ScienceDaily: "On 5 and 6 June this year, millions of people around the world will be able to see Venus pass across the face of the Sun in what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It will take Venus about six hours to complete its transit, appearing as a small black dot on the Sun's surface, in an event that will not happen again until 2117. ...Transits of Venus occur only on the very rare occasions when Venus and Earth are in a line with the Sun. At other times Venus passes below or above the Sun because the two orbits are at a slight angle to each other. Transits occur in pairs separated by eight years, with the gap between pairs of transits alternating between 105.5 and 121.5 years — the last transit was in 2004." You can check this chart to see whether it'll be visible at your location, and when you should look. You'll need a safe way to watch unless you are Vulcan. And yes, there's even a phone app to help you out.
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Venus To Transit the Sun In June, Not Again Until 2117

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  • Good view from home! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @09:59PM (#39864131)

    I live in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and not only will we have a good view (egress is just after sunset), the weather prospects are decent. My mylar filter is ready to go on my Takahashi, so is my Coronado PST, bought on the way to the airport to observe the 2006 eclipse in Turkey.

    In 2004 I looked at creative places I might go to see the transit, and one candidate was Inuvik, thanks to the midnight sun. Until I looked at the weather prospects there, and concluded it wasn't going to happen. I got skunked by the 2010 eclipse from Mangaia in the Cook Islands, nice sunny weather the entire time, except at the time of the eclipse. Nice place, otherwise.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @10:32PM (#39864303)

    The Royal Society and its European counterparts dispatched astronomers to various places on Earth to observe the 1761 and 1769 transits. Two of them were Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. Between transits Mason and Dixon spent almost five years surveying the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Only recently have I come to appreciate the magnitude of that accomplishment, thanks in part to the Mark Knopfler song.

  • Re:More than once (Score:5, Interesting)

    by janeil ( 548335 ) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @11:08PM (#39864465)
    Well, opinions differ. I watched that last transit on a cheapo telescope with a sun filter and would rank it very high as an astronomical experience. The perfect circle of venus moving across the sun, the speed of movement, just knowing what you were looking at was happening RIGHT NOW, blew me away. But I paid nothing, it was visible where I live. I wouldn't travel halfway across the world for a total eclipse, probably wouldn't do so to see another transit of venus, either. So, it's pretty cool, if you can watch it from your backyard.

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