See rare planet Venus transit

This video is called ScienceCasts: The 2012 Transit of Venus.

By Andrew Fazekas for National Geographic News:

Transit of Venus 2012—Sun Show Will Be Last for a Century

How to see rare planetary lineup that may unlock puzzles of alien worlds.

Published June 4, 2012

Early this week sky-watchers around the world will be able to witness a transit of Venus—a celestial event that won’t be seen again for more than a century.

Visible either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on where you live, the transit will offer astronomers a chance to refine our understanding of Venus as well as to tweak models for searching for planets around other stars.

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.

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 upcoming transit, Venus will look 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. (Read a Q&A with Pasachoff about Venus transits.)

Venus transit 2012: Take care while stargazing to see Venus’ transit of the sun: here.

Three hundred years of adventures and misadventures to see the Transit of Venus helped us measure the heavens: here.

4 thoughts on “See rare planet Venus transit

  1. Pingback: Venus transit in Bahrain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Why astronauts did not reach Venus, Mars | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Japanese spacecraft circles Venus at last | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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