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.
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