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, 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.

Published by Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a poet and writer living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in or is forthcoming from Impossible Archetype and The Laurel Review. A work of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review's Fairy-Tale Files. Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona.