The last transit of Venus till 2117

NASA's SDO Captures 2012 Venus Transit Approach

This image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows Venus as it nears the disk of the sun on June 5, 2012. Venus's 2012 transit will be the last such event until 2117. Credit: NASA/SDO, AIA

The passage of Venus across the Sun, as viewed from the Earth, was spectacular – although admittedly from Glasgow, UK it was way too overcast to see – with some truly amazing images from around the world coming in and also from observation satellites with even better vantage points than ours!

The transit was viewed from space, including on the International Space Station and using the Hubble telescope, offering an incredibly rare and fortuitous opportunity to test techniques for observing transits of extrasolar planets and to learn more about Venus.

The transit of Venus last occured on 8th June 2004.

Some previous transits*:

  • 6th December 1882
  • 8th December 1874
  • 3rd June 1769
  • 5th June 1761
  • 4th December 1639
  • 6th December 1631

Future transits*:

  • 11th December 2117
  • 8th December 2125
  • 11th June 2247
  • 9th June 2255
  • 13th December 2360
  • 10th December 2368

*DATA retrieved from NASA Eclipse website

 

The Exploratorium in San Francisco, USA has some great notes that help explain why observing the transit has been and continues to be so important and how using a technique called ‘parallax’ scientists were able to work out the size of the solar system!

 

The video below comes from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) which collected these images in various wavelengths during the 6 hour transit on 5/6th June 2012:

About Derek Shirlaw

I'm passionate about science communication, social media, and my home country, Scotland. In particular, I have a real interest in astronomy, digital marketing, and the great outdoors.
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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Derek Shirlaw » Skywatching in June 2012 is more than just about the transit of Venus. Honest!

  2. Pingback: Derek Shirlaw » How to witness the astronomy event of 2012: the transit of Venus

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