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Transit of Venus
Map showing visibility of transit of Venus.
World visibility map for June 5-6, 2012 Venus Transit. Credit: M. Zeiler

It won't happen again until December 2117. On June 5th, 2012, Venus will transit the face of the sun in an event of both historical and observational importance. The best places to watch are in the south Pacific, but travel is not required. The event will also be visible around sunset from the USA.

 
Additional Information
Transit Video Files
NASA Transit of Venus Site
NASA TV Coverage
NASA Goddard Transit Page
Transit of Venus Website
Space Math @ NASA: Transit of Venus Resources

WARNING
Do not stare at the sun.
Venus covers too little of the solar disk to block the blinding glare. Use some type of projection technique or a solar filter. A #14 welder's glass is a good choice. Binoculars and camera lenses must also be shielded to prevent magnification of damaging light.

Join The Conversation
This will be the most social transit in history.
Tag #venustransit on Twitter.
Follow @astro_pettit, the first human to photograph a transit from space.

Watch With Others
Night Sky Network: Find A Local Club
Look for a local event Sun-Earth Day Event Locations Page.

Transit Images
We'll collect favorite images of the transit on our Great Shots Venus Transit Gallery

Only six Venus transits have occurred since the invention of the telescope and no one saw the first one in 1631.

Read About It
Transits of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June's transit, the bookend of a 2004-2012 pair, won't be repeated until the year 2117. Fortunately, the event is widely visible. Observers on seven continents, even a sliver of Antarctica, will be in position to see it.

The nearly 7-hour transit begins at 3:09 pm Pacific Daylight Time (22:09 UT) on June 5th. The timing favors observers in the mid-Pacific where the sun is high overhead during the crossing. In the USA, the transit will be at its best around sunset. That's good, too. Creative photographers will have a field day imaging the swollen red sun "punctured" by the circular disk of Venus.

Many astronomy clubs will have solar telescopes set up to observe the event; contact your local club for details.

The Full Story


What's Up: Special Transit Edition

Jane Houston Jone offers observing tips.

Planetarium-Quality Transit Video Files

Four-minute trailer summarizes the history and significance of the transit of Venus while preparing for June 5-6, 2012, spectacle. Story traces its value from early expeditions seeking to measure the size of the solar system, to similarities with transits around distant stars being detected by the Kepler spacecraft. Available in full-dome video for digital theaters.

The following files are available to planetariums and digital theaters to download supporting the upcoming Planetarium film about the 2012 Transit of Venus.

Preview the trailer below. For more information about "Transit of Venus," please visit the official website and read more..

Video files are no longer available

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Last Updated: 3 Dec 2012