Last Chance in our Lifetime: Venus Travels Across Sun (Video)

Venus is due to take a trip across the sun, and you will be able to see this phenomenon in Australia as well as other parts of the world.
On June 5 the world’s Western Hemisphere:  North America, north-western South America, Hawaii, Greenland/Iceland the transit of Venus will start in the afternoon.
On June 6 the world’s Eastern Hemisphere:  Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand the transit of Venus will be first seen at sunrise.
Depending on the area you are living, you will either see the beginning of the transit or the end; this phenomenon should be in your areas newspapers (hopefully) so check for exact times in your area.

English: The first observed Transit of the Pla...

English: The first observed Transit of the Planet Venus predicted & observed by Jeremiah Horrocks, 24th November 1639. Portrait held in the collection of Astley Hall Museum and Art Gallery Chorley and the property of Chorley Council. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This phenomenon is known as the Transit of Venus, and will not happen again until December 2117 and again in December 2125. The transit always happens in pairs, and the last transit was in 2004, so this year 2012 is the end of the pair in our lifetime.

Venus transits the face of the Sun on 2004-06-...

Venus transits the face of the Sun on 2004-06-08. Here, the black drop effect is visible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike our Solar Eclipse that we recently had, the transit of Venus is only a small dot passing the sun. Venus is only a small celestial body and the sun much larger, so it only appears as a small dot. It is also recommended that the same sun filters as was used to watch the Solar Eclipse be used to watch this phenomenon as well.

Rare antique: Astronomical clock  Photo: Mick Tsikas
(from the Sydney Morning Herald)

I was very surprised to learn that in 1769, the Royal Society in Britain of Longitude commissioned a clockmaker to make 5 astronomical regulators, and we seem to have one of those clocks here in Australia. The actual history of this clock is unknown, but it is identical to the one used by Captain Cook, who took one of these clocks to Tahiti to view the 1769 transit of Venus.
There is a very good article about this clock in the Sydney Morning Herald if you would like to learn more.

Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa. Neo-Assyrian period.

Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa. Neo-Assyrian period.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a lot of history associated with the transit of Venus, way too much to do in a post. So I have just included a couple of great photos from Wikipedia from the history and if you would like to learn more I think the best article about the history of the transit is in Wikipedia. There are also some very good links in the article as well, and it also seems the easiest to read.


Other posts you may like from my blog:

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71 Responses to Last Chance in our Lifetime: Venus Travels Across Sun (Video)

  1. susielindau says:

    I love it! Do not look directly at the sum….

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi susielindau,
      Yes they do recommend using proper sun filters to watch this event, I am certainly hoping that it is not cloudy. 😀

  2. Interesting! Glad that you are back!

  3. This is so cool, Mags! Does today’s post mean you are feeling better and back in the action? I hope so!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Naomi,
      It is very cool. 🙂 We have been very lucky with the eclipses, there will be generations that will not see any of this.
      I am feeling much better Thank You, and I am slowly starting to catch up with everyone’s blog. 🙂

  4. Cafe says:

    I’d love to see the transit! Thanks for alerting me to this, Mags, and I hope you enjoy watching it if you get to 🙂

  5. yaaaay!! you’re back =D

  6. Madhu says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the info. Shall look out for the timings in our papers.

  7. Lenore Diane says:

    So glad you are back, Mags. I take it you are feeling loads better?
    Rob and I are very excited about this event. We have his welding lens ready, and we plan on taking a safe look at the sun and Venus on Tuesday. I wish I had the equipment needed to take a picture of the event. Maybe I’ll think of something. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Lenore,
      I am feeling a lot better Thank You.
      That sounds great, and yes you do need some serious equipment to photograph this event, but it will be great just to be able to see it all happening. 🙂

  8. This is really neat news. I will see if we are going to be able to view in North AL, USA.
    Glad you are feeling better.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi pupleborough,
      It certainly will, and it will be recorded world wide for future generations to study. 🙂
      Yes I am feeling a lot better, Thank You.

  9. momshieb says:

    So cool! I can’t wait to tell my fifth grade class about this phenomenon!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi momshieb,
      It is going to be great, and I’m sure the kids will find it all fascinating, we have been very lucky to have seen so many of these events in our lifetime.

  10. Lynda says:

    You certainly do find the most amazing stories to share! I had no idea this was happening. Thanks! No if only we don’t get cloudy weather. 🙂
    ~ Lynda

  11. Another very interesting article. I find it amazing that anyone could predict this event so long ago.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Scott,
      I agree, to think people knew about this event in ancient history is amazing, also this very event helped the scientific world work out the distances earth is from the sun all those years ago as well. 🙂

  12. We like to think that we are so smart and discovered all things planetary. Yet, as you say, the generations before us were so in tune with their environment that they didn’t miss much, did they? The fact that this won’t happen again in our lifetimes makes it feel urgent to watch. Thanks for sharing.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi writingfeemail,
      Past generations, and indeed past civilizations were very much in tune, the things that were discovered without the instruments that we have today is mind boggling to say the least. It is our only chance to see this happening, to think that even our kids, kids will not see this event in their lifetime does make you want to take a bit of a look. 🙂

  13. Hi Mags – welcome back to the land of Blog. We missed you! And this was a goody to come back with! 🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi This Sydney Life,
      Thank You it is good to be back in the blogosphere, and I am slowly catching up with everyone. 🙂
      Glad to hear you enjoyed he post.

  14. Way COOOOOOOOOO! Welcome back to Blogland – you’ve been missed 🙂

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Laurie,
      I agree a very cool event. 🙂
      Thank you very much, it is good to catch up with everyone, it feels like forever that I was away. 😀

  15. malc50 says:

    Good to have you back, Mags. The ABC radio this morning just commented that, if Captain Cook hadn’t gone to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus, and call in on Australia’s East Coast on the way home, Australians may have been speaking French, rather than English. Cheers, Mal.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Mal,
      Thank You, it is nice to be back. 🙂
      It is amazing when you think about it, the word Aussie would never have been heard. 😀

  16. When I first heard about this on television, I immediately thought of you. I said to myself, “Mags will cover this for us!” and you have. Thank you Mags! Are you sure you are well enough to be blogging again?

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Lady Marilyn,
      Oh yes I had to cover such a fantastic event, you know me too well. 😀
      I am feeling a lot better Thank You, I am certainly not going out for awhile yet, I would hate to pass anything on to someone as I am not 100%, but I will venture out in the garden this afternoon if it doesn’t start raining again, and get a bit of sunshine and fresh air. 🙂

  17. jakesprinter says:

    Hello Mags ,Amazing work you have here looks so serious now ,lol 🙂

  18. elcampeador says:

    Happy to see your fingers, Mags. Uhh, umm and the rest of you, also. 🙂

  19. Selma says:

    It is quite an historic moment – I’ll be long gone by the time the next one happens. Ha ha. Such an interesting thing to watch. So glad you’re feeling better. I missed you!

  20. aFrankAngle says:

    Great find Mags (as usual) as I didn’t know about this. It’s on the calendar! … and good to have you back. 🙂 … and hope you are feeling better.

  21. Glad to see you back online Mags! I am hoping to see this here in the states. Definitely don’t want to miss this! I really hope you get to see it too!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Michael,
      Thank You.
      We have had a bit more rain today, I am hoping it will all just disappear for this event, I think it will be fabulous. We should also see some great stuff on the net as well, Observatory’s world wide are getting ready for this one. 🙂

  22. oh wow this is so interesting will be checking our local papers for more details
    Hey thanks a was such a great read

  23. Will my Blu ray lens work mate ?
    Aussie Ian

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Aussie Ian,
      I really don’t know, I think the best way to find out about the different lenses that can be used is maybe google it and see what comes up, I’m sure there would be a variety of different lenses that can be used.

  24. raisingdaisy says:

    This kind of stuff fascinates me. Thanks for the post – if this constant rain lets up tomorrow, I just might try to get a glimpse of this rare occurrence. 🙂

  25. niasunset says:

    Thank you so much dear Mags, I was asking in somewhere else, what is this Venus transit, I understand now. You are so nice. I am glad to see you again, hope you feel better. Love, nia

  26. reb says:

    Fascinating stuff!!! And we get to experience it, in our lifetime, I mean! Just checked the forecast for tomorrow and it’s supposed to rain all day 😡

  27. Linda Vernon says:

    What a great post. I have never heard of the transit of Venus and had no idea, of course, of all the history involved. It will be happening here tomorrow so I wont miss it! Thanks for the great info Mags! 😀

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Linda,
      It is amazing the history behind this event, the best of course is because of the transit of Venus we are now able to measure distances between planets. 😀

  28. My view of the sky is completely obscured by clouds today! 😦 And pouring rain. Maybe it’ll clear up, as I’d love to see this. Thanks for the notice!

  29. starlaschat says:

    Super cool! I was just wondering about that information looks like todays the day. Unfortunetly the sky is full of clouds and rain on and off. The last time I noticed Venus was when the super moon was rising I could see Venus so strong and bright.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi starlaschat,
      It is a shame that it does seem to be very cloudy or raining in a lot of places, the weather is not great here either unfortunately.

  30. nuvofelt says:

    If the clouds clear I’ll be watching, if not I’ll view it on the app on the iPad, 😆

    Popping in via the Dark Globe.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi nuvofelt,
      Clouds and rain seem to be in a lot of places, even here in Oz the weather is not looking good, I agree, their is always the net to see it all. 😀
      Thank You for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  31. gitwizard says:

    Thanks for another great post Mags, not sure we’ll see it here, but these astronomical events are all shown so well on the net now, I don’t feel so disappointed when I miss them.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi gitwizard,
      There should be some great photos of this on the net when all the scientists start getting the images together, and of course most of them will go into text books as well so others can learn, an amazing event. 🙂

  32. Fergiemoto says:

    Cool! But I can’t believe I missed it!

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