Transit of Venus

“Transit of Venus”, the definitive title in Space Porn, is coming to a sunset (or sunrise) near you on June 5th or 6th, depending upon your location.  A planetary transit is the passage of  a planetary body (Venus or Mercury) between the viewer and the sun. It is essentially the same as a solar eclipse, although the portion of the surface of the sun that is hidden by a planet is much smaller than that hidden by the moon.

Venusian transits occur in pairs eight years apart separated by over a century between pairs. The last transit occurred in 2004, and the next pair will be in 2117 and 2125.  It is highly unlikely that anyone reading this will be around to see the next pair.

There are a great many resources on the web on visibility, or lack thereof, of the transit in your location. Transit of Venus.org has the history of transits from the first one recorded in 1639 to the present day. They also have information on safe viewing and times and locations to view. One of their features is an interactive map describing the transit time at your exact location.

Sunaeon has a flash powered graphic that can act as a visual aid in watching (embedding did not work for me).

Space.com has an infographic with a large number of details.

There’s the info. Unfortunately, I can’t promise clear skies.

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