In Transit

Tomorrow, a rather magical astronomical event shall occur. From 05/06 at 23:04 BST to 06/06 at 05:55 BST, Venus will transit the Sun. In astronomy, this is an incredibly rare and rather wonderful occurrence. In fact, this is only the 7th Venus transit to have occurred since the invention of the telescope. Miss this one, and it won’t happen again till the year 2117.

But I shaln’t write much about the transit itself. Mostly because that’s too mainstream there are hundreds of people out there talking all about it right now! So instead, I’ll direct you towards; a marvellous blog post by the equally marvellous Astropixie, Astronomy Blog explaining why you shouldn’t look directly at the Sun, and a little video in which Don Pettit makes me incredibly jealous by talking about watching the Transit from space.

The trouble is that here in Europe, this will be happening at night time! Sunrise where I am in the UK is set for 04:43 on Wednesday morning, which is going to be the only chance for anyone in my little corner of the world to catch this transit, unfortunately. Which means that there’s enough time for the Sun to rise 12.87° above the horizon before Venus completes its transit and goes on about its business elsewhere in the sky. Which means I’ll probably need to plan out a good nearby vantage point and leave my house really quite early in the morning.

Venus transits the Sun. At night. Quite unfortunately really. Ah, c’est la vie…

Image credit: AP Photo / Kyodo News

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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2 Responses to In Transit

  1. Raven says:

    If it stops raining here in New England, I’ll send you some pictures.

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