Transit of Venus: June 5-6, 2012
On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun for the last time in over 100 years.
Update: This event has passed
On June 5-6, 2012, Venus passed in front of the Sun. This phenomenon will not occur for more than 100 years.
During the transit in 2012, Venus was visible from Earth as a small dot against the Sun's disk.
The phenomenon can be experienced in recurring intervals of 8 years, 121.5 years, 8 years, and 105.5 years.
In 2012, 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.
Just a Tiny Dot
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, while Earth is the third. Venus can also be seen at night 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.”