Transit of Venus June 2012 made headlines across the world. Sky-watchers across the world witness the historic occasion. Watch the video
Venus transit enthralled the whole world. From US to Japan, China, India and much of Europe, people were able to witness the transit, the most significant celestial occurrence of our times. From kids to college students and even elderly ones, all were excited to witness this historical celestial incident.
The enthusiasm was all the more visible because people were aware of the fact that for the next 105 years, they will not be able to witness this historic occasion. The next time a Venus transit takes place, it will be no less than 105 years from now. And this made the occasion all the more important.
The previous Venus transit had occurred eight years ago during the year 2004. Given the fact that media penetration at that time was not so visible not many people were able to witness it. With the explosion of internet and new-age media, the level of awareness was at its height. An eclipse of the Sun happens when the Moon passes in front of it, as seen from the Earth. Transits are similar in concept, as they happen when one of the two planets closer to the Sun than the Earth, ie Mercury or Venus, passes across the disc of the Sun.
Astronomers suggest that the Venus transit happens in pairs, with a separation of 8 years between each of the pair. However, pairs are separated by over 120 years. One pair occurs on or about 7 June, and the other on or about 8 December. There is a separation of 243 years between pairs occurring on the same date. This knowledge of the transit and the places best suited to watch it increased people’s interest in the transit and watching it.
The transit of Venus was visible from the Pacific, Australasia and Eastern Asia. It crossed the northern hemisphere of the Sun, at a solar latitude of about +45 degrees. The transit started at 22h 03m GMT on 5 June, when the Sun was below the horizon. Mid-transit was at 01h 28m, when the Sun was still below the horizon. Venus took 18 minutes to cross the limb of the Sun, and the transit ended at about 04h 54m GMT on 6 June. The total duration of the transit was of around 6 hours 10 minutes.
NASA had made extensive arrangements to make the occasion visible for people not just in the US, but across the world. People were able to watch the live streaming of the occasion on NASA website. It also created awareness about the safe watching of the Venus transit.