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2012 transit of Venus
Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
- Ground-based observations
- Observations from space
- Future transits
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
One of the rarest of predictable astronomical events, a transit of Venus across the face of the Sun, was observed by tens of millions of people around the world on June 5 and 6, 2012. Only six previous times had transits of Venus been observed from Earth: in 1639, when Jeremiah Horrocks and one correspondent saw it; in 1761 and 1769, when Captain James Cook and hundreds of others went to the ends of the Earth, so to speak, to view the event in order to measure the size and scale of the solar system; in 1874 and 1882, when newfangled photography could be used for the first time; and in 2004, the first such transit of our millennium (see table). Transits of Venus from Earth occur in our era in pairs separated by 8 years, with then alternate gaps of 105.5 or 121.5 years before the beginning of the next pair.
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