On June 5th and 6th, depending on where you are in the world, there will be the last transit of Venus, where the planet Venus¬†visibly¬†passes between the earth and the Sun, until the year 2017. ¬†The previous transit of Venus was in 2004. The transit has only been visible eight times since Galileo. ¬†NASA will feature a live streaming webcast of the transit from¬†Mauna Kea, Hawaii from its site – 2012 Transit of Venus – Sun-Earth Day: Shadows of the Sun.
Transit of Venus 2012: How to view once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon
In 1716,¬†Edmond Halley proposed that by observing the time at which the¬†shadow of Venus crosses the Sun from various points on the Earth, it is possible to¬†calculate¬†the distance from the Earth to the Sun. ¬†Halley did not live to see his proposal put into practice but in 1761,¬†176 scientists watched the event from 117 spots around the globe. ¬†In 1768, Captain James Cook observed the transit from Tahiti.
The 2012 transit should be visible, cloud cover permitting, from most of Western¬†Europe, parts of Africa, the Middle East ¬†and the United States. ¬†The transit will be visible in the United States on June 5th near sunset and at sunrise on June 6th in Europe, Africa and Asia.
It is¬†possible¬†to photograph the transit but care is required. See – Here’s how to photograph Venus and the sun safely.
Thanks to Phil Leon for contributing to¬†this¬†post.