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What Is The Transit Of Venus?

All you keep hearing on the news this morning is “The Transit Of Venus”, but what does that even mean? Is it worth anything seeing or worrying about? Well don’t panic, it’s actually pretty cool.

Ian Waldie/Getty Images

A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth. A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is almost 3 1/2 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.

Transits of Venus are among the rarest of astronomical phenomena’s. They occur 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. This transit will be the last until 2117. Few people alive today will be around to see the next transit, That’s why this makes it a rare celestial sight.

According to Space.com:

The Venus-sun show will begin around 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) and end at roughly 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT) Wednesday, with the exact timing varying by a few minutes from point to point around the globe. Before you even attempt to observe the transit of Venus, a warning: NEVER stare at the sun through binoculars or small telescopes or with the unaided eye without the proper safety equipment. Doing so can result in serious and permanent eye damage, including blindness.

Get more details where to view it by clicking here.

Why is this event so important to astronomy you ask? Check out this video for more details.

[via Wikipedia]

 

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