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 writer and poet living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review’s “Fairy-Tale Files“.