Transit of Venus

The transit of the planet Venus across the Sun June 2012

Venus has a special place in the history of those that look up to the skies and wonder about the planets and stars in a tiny patch of sky immersed in the galactic splendour of the Milky Way.

The opportunity, and the last in our lifetime, presents itself in June 2012 to witness Venus, not as a brilliant white planet in the sky, but as a blacker than black object moving across the sun. The last time this was recorded in South Africa was in 2004 and previous to that, in 1882. Measurements of transits have been used by scientists to collect astronomical data such as the distance of the earth from the sun – first noted by Edmund Halley in 1716. His detailed observations assisted future scientists to plan expeditions to other parts of the world to document transit events. The next transit event will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

Question: Will we be able to see the transit from East London (SA). Unfortunately not. The Stellarium image below (for EL) shows that by the time the sun comes above the horizon the transit will be over. Check the times on the images.

6th June 2012 07h10

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About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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