Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rare transit of Venus to be visible 5-6 June

Venus will cross the face of the Sun on 5-6 June, a rare occurrence that will not be seen again for over a hundred years.

A transit of Venus occurs only when Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth. Since the orbital plane of Venus is not exactly aligned with that of Earth, transits occur very rarely, in pairs eight years apart but separated by more than a century.


The last transit was enjoyed in June 2004 but the next will not be seen until 2117.

Venus transits are of great historical significance because they gave astronomers a way to measure the size of the Solar System.

The transits of the 18th century enabled astronomers to calculate the distance to the Sun by timing how long it took for Venus to cross the solar disc from different locations on Earth and then using simple trigonometry.

Also, during the transit of 1761 astronomers noticed a halo of light around the planet’s dark edge, revealing Venus to have an atmosphere.

As a planet passes in front of a star, it temporarily blocks out a tiny portion of the starlight, revealing its presence and providing information about the planet’s size. Europe’s CoRot space telescope has used this technique to discover over 20 exoplanets.

Transits are also being used to search for exoplanets that may harbor life. If the planet has an atmosphere a small fraction of the light from the star will pass through this atmosphere and reveal its properties, such as the presence of water or methane.

The 2012 transit will be visible in its entirety only from the western Pacific, eastern Asia, eastern Australia and high northern latitudes.

For the India, the transit will begin in the around 3:39am on 6 June.

 

3 comments:

Jaspreet Singh said...

hello sir.. Jaspreet this side..u told that this would come next in 2117, but i did not understand this "Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena. They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years."

Jaspreet Singh said...

For more information about this transit..visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transit_of_Venus#Conjunctions

DharmendraK said...

Thanks jaspreet, you said it right....2012+105=2117