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This diagram shows a simulated view of the black disk of Venus against the backdrop of the Sun during the Venus transit of June 2004. The yellow arrows show the path of Venus across the face of the Sun throughout the course of the transit.
This illustration is original Windows to the Universe artwork created by Randy Russell. The image of the Sun is courtesy SOHO (ESA & NASA); information on the apparent size and path of Venus courtesy Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC.

Venus Transit in June 2004
News story originally written on June 2, 2004

A rare astronomical event will occur in early June 2004. For the first time since 1882, Earthlings will be able to view a transit of the planet Venus. "Transit" is a term used by astronomers when a planet passes directly between Earth and the Sun. A transit is somewhat similar to a total solar eclipse, when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun.

This Venus transit will occur on June 8, 2004. There will be another transit of Venus in 2012. If you miss that one you will have to wait more than a century for the next opportunity!

During the transit, observers will see a small black dot slowly creep across the face of the Sun. The dot, Venus, will take about six hours to complete the transit. Remember, it is never safe to directly view the Sun. For tips on how to safely view the transit and what can be seen from where you live, check out this NASA web site.

Last modified May 28, 2004 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA