VSSEC Spies Transit of Venus
Wednesday 6th of June Australia had box seats to an extremely rare celestial event – the transit of Venus across the Sun. Ian Christie and Philip Spencer, our fearless physicists ventured out into Melbourne’s cold and cloudy day to obtain some priceless images.
Students from Strathmore Secondary college were given a unique opportunity to a) look at the sun (via a projection) and b) watch a celestial encounter that takes place twice every hundred years or so. The last transit of Venus occurred June 8th 2004 and the next won’t happen until December 2117.
Starting at 8:15 in the morning and completing its journey at 2:45, Venus was sometimes a little difficult to see as clouds scudded across the sky. We had sporadic visual contact with Venus from 8:15 to 9:40 and then once again at around 1pm; clouds started to cover the sun around 2:30 and we feared that was the end of it. Then the skies cleared one final time and we were able to watch as Venus completed its transit across the face of the sun.
A Different Point of View...
As if being able to see the transit of Venus wasn't cool enough, astrophotographer Theirry Legault captured this amazing image of the Hubble Space Telescope transiting the Sun along side Venus. This image comes courtesy of Spaceweather.com.