Today! Your Last Chance to See the Transit of Venus

Posted on June 5, 2012


If you are a sky-watcher at all, you may be interested to know that Venus passes directly between the Earth and the Sun only on very rare occasions, due to its tilted orbit.  The last transit – in which Venus appears as a perfectly round black dot crossing the face of the Sun – was in 2004. Tuesday’s transit will be the last until 2117.  The event is so rare that it has only occurred six times since the invention of the telescope 400 years ago!

If you decide to try to see it, check out this National Geographic article or this Los Angeles Times item detailing when it will occur for your time zone, along with safe viewing procedures.

Image from NASA’s TRACE spacecraft

You can also check out live webcasts of the transit from NASA or the Slooh Space Camera site, among others.  Enjoy this last-in-the-century astronomy event!  It’s really kind of awe-inspiring to see the spheres going round in the void…