Rare Venus Transit of Sun Occurs in June 2012

Rare Venus Transit of Sun Occurs in June 2012

On June 5-6 of this year, a rare celestial event, called a Venus transit of Sun, will take place. Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. Venus and Earth are often called twins because they are similar in size, mass, density, composition and gravity. During the Venus  transit, Venus will pass directly in front of the sun from Earth’s perspective, appearing as a small, slowly moving black dot. The last time this happened was in June 2004, but the next one won’t take place until December 2117. This is the last chance for anyone alive today to see the rare celestial sight. Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, which is visible only within a long narrow track traced by the moon’s shadow, during the 2012 transit of Venus the entire hemisphere of Earth facing the sun will get to see at least part of the planet’s solar crossing. The entire transit will be widely visible from eastern Asia, eastern Australia, New Zealand and the western Pacific, as well as Alaska, northern Canada and almost all of Greenland. For much of North and Central America and northwestern South America, skywatchers will be able to see the start of the Venus transit of Sun on the afternoon of June 5. But they’ll miss its end, since the sun will have set before Venus exits the solar disk. For viewers in central and eastern Europe, western and central Asia, eastern Africa, India and western Australia, the transit will already be under way by the time the sun rises on the morning of June 6 (local time), so they’ll be able to watch the transit’s end from those locations.
source:www.space.com