What is a transit of Venus?

When Venus passes directly between earth and purchasing cialis with next day delivery the sun, we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of tramadol no medical records the sun.  Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system.  The view is like a front row seat to the transit method, by which we find planets around distant stars.

When is it?

The last transit of Venus occurred June 5-6, 2012.  The next pair of Sun-Venus-Earth alignments will be December 2117 and 2125.  Look for a transit of Mercury in 2016.

What happened in 2012?

People across the globe witnessed and celebrated science in action. Observing parties, public outreach, live webcasts, art exhibits, historic displays, music , and more set the medicamentosseguros.com 2012 transit of Venus apart as a collective science experience. 

Transit of Venus at sunset

See A Community Celebrates for a summary of the 2012 Transit of Venus from Michiana.

Transit of Venus Story

Rare Alignment

Sun, Venus, and earth align for transit of Venus
A transit of Venus occurs when Venus passes directly between the sun and earth.  This alignment is rare, coming in pairs that are eight years apart but separated by over a century.  The most recent transits of Venus were a thrilling sight in June 2004 and 2012, with the next transit of Venus pair occurring in December 2117 and 2125. 

Global Expeditions

Parallax angle from two locations
Observers from two locations on earth see two distinct paths (red and blue) of Venus across the sun.  The slight difference in times Venus takes, moving from edge to edge, can mathematically unlock the distance from earth to the sun, and thus the size of our solar system.  For 17th & 18th century transits, intrepid explorers set out to answer a leading question of mankind.  Not all of them made the voyage back home.

Mystery of "Black Drop"

Simulated black drop smearJust before or after the circular black dot of donpablo.nl Venus seems to touch the www.boehler.org edge of the sun, a peculiar "black drop effect" sometimes occurs between the contact points.  A ligament of darkness smears the juncture of Venus and the sun.  You can see a similar anomaly if you almost pinch your thumb and forefinger together.  Just before you sense contact, a black feature spans your two digits.

Transits Lead the Hunt

Kepler mission's field of view near Summer Triangle
Once again, transits are on follow link cialis online the leading edge of new discoveries.  The NASA Kepler mission and others are using the transit method to find habitable planets around distant stars.  The Kepler spacecraft monitors over 150,000 stars, looking for periodic dips in their light curves which reveal the presence of companion planets.  You, too, can join this quest for new worlds. 

4-Minute Summary

Video: the Transit of Venus
Animation and sfachc.org visual effects by Patrick McPike.

Get Your Gear

Three t-shirt designs

Three designs of T-shirts at reduced price from supporters of Transit of Venus outreach efforts.

Midwest Treasure: TROVE

Midwest Treasure: TROVE
Art exhibits, family activities, a bus tour, historic artifacts, lectures, Logo for TROVE Adventurewebcasts, telescope viewing, and more complemented the visual spectacle near the Michigan-Indiana border.  This hub of wow)) what is the cost of cialis 2012 transit of Venus activity in Michiana celebrated the http://sws-bl.com/herbal-cialis math, science, history, and art of the celestial phenomenon.

Safely See the Sun

Rear projection screen with transiting Venus
Protect your eyes.  There are several safe ways to observe the sun. 
  • Solar filtered telescope
  • Disposable "eclipse shades"
  • Rear projection screen
    (Build a Sun Funnel, above)
  • Live webcast
  • More

Recommended Links

Logo for Transit of Venus Project

Logo for NASA's Sun-Earth Day 2012

Logo for Facebook Group

Twitter logo

YouTube features transit of Venus videos

Sousa on March 8

Sousa's Transit of Venus March coverCover of March 2012 issue of Planetarian journalThe Penn Symphonic Winds will perform the Transit of Venus March by John Phillip Sousa on March 8, 2012, at the Penn Fine Arts Festival Concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m.  Director Glenn Northern announced the performance will be in the recommended site fast viagra Penn Center for the Performing Arts, at Penn High School (map) in Mishawaka, IN, USA.  Sousa had a particular interest in the celestial phenomenon, writing both the Transit of Venus March and decades later a novel The Transit of Venus.  Penn High School students also performed Sousa's march in 2004 when the transit of Venus occurred previously in the 21st century. 

Meanwhile, the cover of the March 2012 issue Planetarian-Journal of the International Planetarium Society features Sousa sheet music, accompanying the article Going All Out for Venus.  The cover and article are reprinted with permission of the International Planetarium Society. 


Call for Art: Transit of Venus in Pastel

Northern Indiana Pastel Society (NIPS) Call for Art: Transit of Venus in PastelThe Northern Indiana Pastel Society (NIPS) announced a call for art for the Transit of Venus in Pastel exhibit.  From the December 2011 Newsletter:    

Harris Branch
Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Library
51446 Elm Road, Granger IN 46530
May 1 to June 9, 2012

Reception 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Deliver art to the gallery 10:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Saturday, April 28.  Art will be released 10:30 to noon Saturday, June 9. 
Entrants must be members of NIPS.

Scientists and astronomy enthusiasts are gearing up for this heavenly event, June 5, 2012, when the planet Venus passes between Earth and the sun. We will see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun. Historically, this rare alignment is how we measured the size of our solar system. Visit www.transitofvenus.org for more information. 

Members are invited to use ideas such as Venus, planets, sun, moon, stars, space, sky, sunset, new worlds, habitable planets or related themes. The art also will be featured in an online gallery linked to other Transit of Venus events around the world.


Events: APS Museum in Philadelphia

Book cover (U.S. version): Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens byDavid Rittenhouse telescope, from APS Museum in PhiladelphiaThe American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum in Philadelphia will be presenting a variety of activities related to the Transit of Venus, beginning May 25, 2012, including a small exhibition featuring the telescope David Rittenhouse used for observing the 1769 Transit; hands-on activities with Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at The Franklin Institute; and a talk by Andrea Wulf, author of the new book Chasing Venus: The Race To Measure the Heavens

A press release conveys that APS played a vital role in the world-wide observation of the transit in 1769 and that several of the instruments used by Rittenhouse and Ewing will be on display.

For details, please contact the museum:
American Philosophical Society Museum
104 S. Fifth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106


Poster with 2012 Transit of Venus sans June date (Click here to download hi-res poster)  Spread the word about events related to the 2012 transit of Venus.  You may print these high resolution PDF documents (~32 MB) into a 24x36 inch poster (or smaller), then put your own announcement in the bottom two white banners.  This window is reminiscent of the stained glass window in St. Michael's Church, which honors its church member Jeremiah Horrocks.  See also Activity: Create Your Own Stained Glass Window for ways to incorporate the window into an activity. 

The posters below specify the dates June 5 or June 6 above the year 2012, whereas the main 2012 poster, above, simply has 2012. 

Read more: Posters


RASC 2012 Transit of Venus

By Roy Bishop; from the 2012 Observer's Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)

Cover of the RASC Observer's Handbook

From the third planet, only Mercury and Venus can be seen silhouetted against the Sun. When an inferior conjunction takes place, the appreciable orbital inclinations of Mercury and Venus usually cause them to pass north or south of the solar disk and no transit occurs. Transits are uncommon for Mercury, rare for Venus. During the 20th century, there were 14 transits of Mercury, and 0 transits of Venus. Currently, transits of Venus occur in pairs, with 8.0 years separating the members of a pair, and the pairs separated alternately by 105.5 and 121.5 years, resulting in a 243.0-year period for the pattern.

Johannes Kepler, extraordinary astronomer and author of the Rudolphine Tables of planetary positions, predicted the Venus transit of 1631. Unfortunately, he died in 1630. Jeremiah Horrocks and his friend William Crabtree, in England, were the first to see a transit of Venus, on 1639 Dec. 4. Beginning with the transit pair in that century, years having Cytherean transits include:

Read more: RASC 2012 Transit of Venus



Google's Zeitgeist feature rated the 2004 Transit of Venus as the world's #1 Most Popular Event for all of June 2004!  The 2012 transit of Venus is the recommended site order generic cialis last one in the 21st century--not seen again until 2117.  You don't want to miss this rare dance of the planets!

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