Venus: Once-in-a-lifetime solar voyage (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Published time: June 06, 2012 06:10
Edited time: June 09, 2012 20:00
A plane flies past the planet Venus as it makes its transit across the sun over Vienna, June 6, 2012 (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader)
The transit of Venus across the Sun has enthralled astronomers and amateur stargazers alike. They gathered across the world to view the rare phenomenon. The planet appeared as a small black pinhole moving slowly across the face of our Sun.
People turned their gaze to the small silhouette of Venus in a spectacle that will not be seen again until 2117.
Venus’ wander across the Sun lasted approximately six hours and forty minutes and was visible from all seven continents.
Most areas of North and Central America caught a glimpse of Venus before the sunset, while Hawaii, Alaska, eastern Australia and eastern Asia where treated to a full display as the transit occurred during daylight hours.
Online streams of Venus’ movements bagged massive viewing figures, NASA’s website drawing two million visitors in total and 90,000 at any given time.
The transit of Venus occurs in pairs eight years apart, but there is more than a century gap separating cycles.
NASA scientists collected information on Venus’ atmosphere during the transit that may shed light on how to identify other planets that could support life.
The planet Venus (black spot on the right) in its transit across the face of the sun is seen from Los Angeles, California on June 05, 2012 (AFP Photo/Joe Klamar)
Josh Romney and his wife Amanda Romney watch the planet Venus transits in front of the sun outside Salt Lake City, Utah, June 5, 2012 (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)
A couple attempt to photograph the planet Venus transiting across the sun at Sydney's Observatory June 6, 2012 (Reuters/Daniel Munoz)
Handout image courtesy of NASA shows the planet Venus transiting the Sun, June 5, 2012 (Reuters/NASA/AIA/Solar Dynamics Observatory/Handout)
A woman takes pictures of a live telescope image of Venus as it passes in front of the Sun, at the Akashi Municipal Planetarium in Akashi in Hyogo prefecture, western Japan on June 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno)
Women use eclipse glasses to watch the planet Venus transiting across the sun, in Amman June 6, 2012 (Reuters/Ali Jarekji)
Children take turns to look at planet Venus transiting across the sun at a public viewing at the Singapore Science Centre, June 6, 2012 (Reuters/Tim Chong)
A combination photo shows the images of the planet Venus, seen through a special solar filter, as a black dot during its transit across the sun in Berlin June 6, 2012 (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
A woman looks through a telescope while a screen shows Venus passing in front of the Sun at the historic Sydney Observatory where a sell-out crowd of 1,500 people bought tickets to witness the rare occurance on June 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/William West)
Planet Venus, pictured as a black dot (at L), is seen in transit across the Sun in New Delhi on June 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/Manan Vatsyayana)