Photos of the Sun

Venus transit. The Sun, Mercury and Venus

Venus transit. The Sun, Mercury and Venus

On June 6, 2012, scientists and fans around the world could see how the planet Venus traveled between the Sun and the planet Earth. It is a strange phenomenon that will not happen again in 105 years. In the image you can see the exact moment when Venus was traveling between the Sun and the Earth.

In its unheard of transit, Venus could be seen as a round, dark and small spot moving ahead of the sun. It is something similar to the solar eclipses caused by the Moon, but the distance and size of Venus make the hypothetical eclipse into a small black dot, which crosses the visible face of the Sun for a time between 5 and 8 hours.

The transits of Venus between the Sun and the Moon are very rare. According to a pattern they occur every 243 years, with a pair of transits separated by a period of 8 years from each other, and by more than a century of the next pair. In the 21st century, two transits have already taken place, on June 8, 2004 and June 6, 2012. The following transits of Venus will take place in 2117 and 2125.

The transits of Venus are important for astronomers, since they have allowed to make quite approximate calculations of the size of the Sun and the distance between the Earth and the Sun. To be able to observe the transits of Venus you have to take the same precautions as to contemplate a solar eclipse. You should never look at the Sun without proper sunscreens.

◄ PreviousNext ►
Mercury IceMaat Mons volcano
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: The Sun, Mercury and Venus