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This picture shows what the Venus transit in 2004 may look like. The big black dot near the bottom is Venus. The yellow arrows show how Venus will move during the transit.
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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.

Transits of Venus

Sometimes the planet Venus gets between Earth and the Sun. Astronomers call that a "transit" of Venus. A transit is a little bit like an eclipse of the Sun, when the Moon gets between Earth and the Sun.

Transits of Venus don't happen very often. The last one was way back in 1882!

There will be a transit of Venus on June 8, 2004. There will be another one June 6, 2012. After that, you will have to wait more than a century for another Venus transit!

The transit in 2004 will last about six hours. It will be possible to see it from many places on Earth. NASA has a web site that you can use to find out about the transit.

In the past, astronomers used measurements made during a Venus transit to figure out how big our Solar System is.

Last modified May 24, 2004 by Randy Russell.

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