Venus in Transit

As viewed from the Earth, Venus is currently passing across the face of the sun, the first such transit in 122 years. The images currently coming in on various websites from amateurs and observatories in select regions of the world show a small black circle slowly making its way across the gigantic face of the sun. Scientists are using this rare occasion to test technology for observing transits of extrasolar planets across their own parent stars and to study characteristics of Venus’ atmosphere. Mysky has some first images up, as does an astronomy site in Norway and the site for the TRACE probe orbiting the Earth.

According to Space.com, the next transit will actually happen in 8 years. Due to the geometry and mathematics involved, two transits occur 8 years apart, and then there is a wait of over a hundred years for the next pair of transits.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).