Home > Amateur Astronomy, Astronomy, Solar System, Transits, Venus > Extremely Rare Transit of Venus to Occur on June 5, 2012

Extremely Rare Transit of Venus to Occur on June 5, 2012


A few hours before sunset on June 5th, 2012 residents of the Washington, DC metropolitan area will have a chance to witness one of the rarest celestial phenomena known: a “Transit of Venus”. Such an event occurs when the planet Venus passes almost exactly between the Earth and the Sun, and they are incredibly rare. Since first predicted by the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler in the 17th Century, only six Transits of Venus have been observed. Weather permitting, this will be the seventh. Transits of Venus occur at regular intervals that repeat over a 243-year period. Intervals between successive transits are 8 years, 105.5 years, 8 years, and 120.5 years. The next Transit of Venus won’t occur until December 11, 2117, and it will not be visible from Washington! Kepler predicted the transit of December 7, 1631 but died before the event occurred. The next transit, on December 4, 1639, was observed by only two individuals, Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree, from England.

 

Link to PDF: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/news-from-the-naval-observatory

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