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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Annular Solar Eclipse: May 2012 (Pictures/Videos)
- Globes of the World: How are they made? (Video)
- Earth’s Size Compared to Other Planets (Video)
- The Sky-Australian Telescope (Timelapse Video)