"Transit of Venus"

"Transit of Venus"

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by Kristin Walls

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 2, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 2 at 10:55 PM

It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! We have the chance to witness the sight of Venus slowly inching across the face of the sun. It’s a phenomenon called “transit of Venus.”

The transit happens when Venus passes directly between the Earth and our Sun. When this happens, we will see a small black dot gliding across the disk of the sun. Just like any solar eclipse, do not stare directly at the sun. Special protective glasses will be needed to see this event. Since Venus will only block out a tiny fraction of the sun, there will be no obvious change to the brightness of the sky.
So when is it happening? This Tuesday evening is the opportune time to witness this event in Kentuckiana. The entire transit will last 6 hours and 40 minutes for the western Pacific, eastern Asia and eastern Australia. Sky watchers in the United States will see the beginning of the show before the sun sets. Sky gazers who want the full experience are flocking to Hawaii, considered one of the prime viewing spots since the whole transit will be visible.
Unlike eclipses, Venus transits are truly rare. They come in pairs, separated by more than 100 years. The last one occurred in 2004 and next pair in 2117 and 2125.

 

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