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The Transit of Venus


Found In: Mathematics, Science, 6-8, 9-12

June 5th is the last chance for anyone alive today to observe Venus crossing the face of the Sun as it happens. The next Transit of Venus will take place in 2117. When Captain James Cook sailed to Tahiti in 1769 his mission was to observe the Transit of Venus in order to calculate the distance from Earth to Venus and ultimately the size of the solar system. NASA Science has a background article on the historical importance of observing a transit: James Cook and the Transit of Venus can be read or downloaded as an audio file. NASA also has an article and video about the 2012 Transit of Venus.

Viewing the 2012 Transit of Venus

SAFETY FIRST

There are a number of ways to view the transit, but as with any observation involving the sun, safety should always be a primary concern.

ONLINE VIEWING

At least two websites provide online viewing. This may prove especially useful if weather conditions are unfavorable in your area. NASA and SLOOH SpaceCamera.

Having been disappointed by the comets Kohoutek and Halley, I’m not going to miss June’s Transit of Venus.

 

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