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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.

Illustration image

The black spot is Venus passing the Sun.


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.

The next Venus Transit will be 105.5 years after the last one, on December 10/11, 2117 followed by another on December 8/9, 2125.

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.”

How Rare Are Venus Transits?

The alignment Earth - Venus - Sun has only occurred eight times since the invention of the telescope: in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, and 2012.

Topics: Astronomy, Sun, Planets, Eclipses