Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Photos of the Transit of Venus, extremely rare event!

To safely view the Transit of Venus, we set up a pair of binoculars and projected the image of the sun onto a flat surface. It was really exciting to see the image of the sun with a tiny black dot which was the planet Venus.

A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. The event is visible for several hours.

Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years.

This transit of Venus occurred on June 5 in our location and is the last Venus transit of the 21st century. The prior transit took place on June 8, 2004. The previous pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. The next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

Venus transits are historically of great scientific importance as they were used to gain the first realistic estimates of the size of the Solar System. In particular, observations of the 1639 transit, combined with the principle of parallax, provided an estimate of the distance between the Sun and the Earth that was more accurate than any other up to that time.

Click on the picture above to see more pictures from our observation of the Transit of Venus.


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