Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Transit of Venus

Today there will be the sight of Venus passing in front of the sun. There is an exhibition in the Royal Botanic Gardens as advertised on the glass pyramid here.

Transits of Venus are rare and historically important astronomical events. Transits of Venus occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by gaps of 121½ years and 105½ years.  Since the phenomena was first recognized there have only been six transits of Venus – 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and the most recent one in 2004. The 6th June 2012 transit is our last opportunity to observe a transit of Venus, as the next event occurs on 11th December 2117.  The 1769 transit has a vital historical connection to Australia. Lieutenant James Cook was dispatched to Tahiti on HMS Endeavour to observe the transit. After a successful observation he was directed to search for the “great south land” thought to exist in the South Pacific Ocean and following that search he discovered and charted the east coast of Australia. (source


  1. How very cool! Watch now or never live see it at all. :)

  2. Looks like the weather is going to spoil things for observers.


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