Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Fiala, Alan D. Formerly, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Transits of Venus and Mercury
- Transits of moons across giant planets
- Mutual-event transits
- Transits from nonterrestrial perspectives
- Transits of exoplanets
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The passage of one astronomical object across another. The term "transit" implies that the foreground object is smaller than the background object (Fig. 1). A related term, "eclipse," implies that the foreground object hides a background object that is extended in size, or that an object passes into another object's shadow. A third term, "occultation," implies that the foreground object extinguishes the background object, as when the disk of a solar-system object blocks a star. See also: Eclipse; Occultation; Solar system; Star
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