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Transit of Venus -- June, 5 2012
Transit of Venus

Living here on earth, it is easy to forget that we are part of a bigger solar system. Sure, the sun comes up every day, and often the moon comes up too, but those events are too ordinary to cause a stir. Every now and then, however, something happens and we look skyward, gazing in wonder and realizing that there is more out there than nothing. Sometimes we look to the night sky and sees stars or perhaps even a shooting star or the space station; other times, the moon moves in front of the sun causing an eclipse; and once in a great while, a planet drifts in front of the sun causing what is called a "transit."

On June 5, 2012, Venus passed between the earth and sun -- the Transit of Venus. According to Wikipedia, transits of Venus occur in pairs, eight years apart, separated by gaps of more than 100 years. The last transit was in 2004, this transit was in 2012, and the next pair of transits will be in 2117 and 2125. None of us will see this again.

I pointed my birdwatching spotting scope at the sun and projected the rays onto white cardboard or my hand. What I saw was a tiny black dot (Venus) on a white disk (Sun). I also saw black specks on the sun, which I took to be a dirty lens, but they were actually sun spots. The results are the photos on this page, which were taken from my yard in Las Vegas.

transit of venus
I used this spotting scope to project the rays of the sun ...
Transit of Venus
... onto a white piece of cardboard
Transit of Venus
1515 hrs; transit begins as Venus begins to move in front of the sun
Transit of Venus
1520 hrs; Venus is almost entirely in front of the sun
Transit of Venus
1525 hrs; Venus is entirely in front of the sun
Transit of Venus
1526 hrs; projecting Venus onto my hand (it feels so personal!)
Transit of Venus
1528 hrs; transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
1619 hrs; transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
1728 hrs; transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
1812 hrs; transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
1855 hrs; transit of Venus
Transit of Venus
1911 hrs; projecting Venus onto my hand (it feels so personal!)
Transit of Venus
1914 hrs; projecting Venus onto my hand (it feels so personal!)
Transit of Venus
1915 hrs; first shadow of the setting sun
Transit of Venus
1916 hrs; the sun is going down
Transit of Venus
1916 hrs; the sun is going down

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120606

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