The transit of Venus across the sun

6 Jun

Sky-watchers around the world were able to witness a transit of Venus—a celestial event that won’t be seen again for more than a century.

Transits happen when a planet crosses between Earth and the sun. Only Mercury and Venus, which are closer to the sun than our planet, can undergo this unusual alignment. [This is AMAZING!] On 9 May 2016, there will be a transit of Mercury!

Transit of Venus. Credit: culture-and-current-affairs.com

With its relatively tight orbit, Mercury circles the sun fast enough that we see the innermost planet transit every 13 to 14 years. But transits of Venus are exceedingly rare, due to that world’s tilted orbit: After the 2012 Venus transit, we won’t see another until 2117.

During the transit, Venus looked like a black dot gliding across the face of the sun over the course of about six hours.

“Venus’s diameter will appear only about a 30th the diameter of the sun, so it will be … like a pea in front of a watermelon,” said Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College in Massachusetts.

[Source: National Geographic News]

Venus is my most favourite planet; not to say I’ve deep ‘connections’ with this particular planet. I’m sure it must have been a really amazing thing to watch.

View the video clip of the transit of Venus across the Sun!

…the clouds, as if by divine interposition, were entirely dispersed, and I was once more invited to the grateful task of repeating my observations. I then beheld a most agreeable spectacle, the object of my sanguine wishes…I could scarcely have wished for a more extended period.
-Jeremiah Horrocks

This sight…is by far the noblest astronomy affords…” -Edmond Halley

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