June 5-6, 2012: Transit of Venus
Update: This event has passed
On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun. This phenomenon won't occur for more than 100 years.
On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun for the last time in over 100 years.
During this transit, Venus passed between Sun and Earth. The planet became visible from Earth as a small dot against the Sun's disk.
Although Venus is almost four times larger than the Moon, it blocks a much smaller portion of the Sun's face than the Moon does during a solar eclipse. This is because it is much further away from Earth.
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, Earth is the third. On a clear night, Venus can also be seen as a bright “star” in the sky, especially shortly after sunset or before sunrise. This is why it is also referred to as “evening star” or “morning star”.
When Was the Last Transit?
It took Venus 6 hours and 40 minutes to travel across the Sun's disk. Seen from the Earth's center (geocentric coordinates), the transit started at 22:09:29 and ended at 04:49:27 Universal Time (UT).
Depending on the observer's actual geographic location, times varied by up to several minutes .
How Rare Are Venus Transits??
The alignment Earth - Venus - Sun has only occurred 7 times since the invention of the telescope: in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, and 2004.
The phenomenon can be experienced in recurring intervalls of 8 years, 121.5 years, 8 years, and 105.5 years. The last occurrence was in June 2004, the next one will be 105.5 years sinse the last one, on December 11, 2117.
Next transit begins in
May 9, 2016 at 11:10 AM UTC … See more
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