The All-You-Need-To-Know-And-More Guide To The Venus Transit on June 5/6
By on June 2nd, 2012

It’s really an eclipse, but not quite. When Venus moves across the disc of the Sun on the 5th/6th of June, you’ll be witnessing history – and be able to realize how lucky you really are! In this article, I plan to provide you with everything you need to know in order to watch the transit and also appreciate the significance of this cosmic event!

A time-lapse photo of the 2004 transit

Basic Facts

Here’s the deal: Venus will be making its way around the Sun like normal, but this time, we will be behind it to observe. We will be seeing Venus move across the Solar Disc through nearly 7 hours. The last transit happened in 2004 and this one is occuring faithfully after 8 years. The next one will, however, occur after 105 more years – in 2117!

Venus Transit (Courtesy: GSFC/NASA)

So this is your last chance to see a Venus transit! Yes, there are many questions that you suddenly have in your mind right now, and I will try and answer all of them as we go along in this article.

Location Location!

The event will not be visible all over the world. There will be parts of the world, like Western part of Africa and Eastern part of South America, which will just miss the event completely. Sorry Brazil and Argentina. That said, the good news is that large parts of the world will definitely see the event.

Visible or not? Check for your location

Asia

Date: 6th June

The whole event
East Asia will be lucky to witness the whole nearly-7 hour event! By the time Venus enters the disc of the Sun, it will already be sunrise in these regions. Venus will exit the solar disc before sunset.
From sunrise till end
India and countries to the west of India, like Pakistan, Afghanistan and the entire Gulf region, will miss the start of the transit. Almost the entire Indian subcontinent will see the transit 3 hours after it starts. That’s no reason to fret, however; the transit will still be pretty long!

Europe

Date: 6th June

From event start till sunset
Most of Europe will be seeing the last part of the event. Venus will already have entered the solar disc by the time the sun rises and then it will exit before sunset. The unfortunate countries will be Spain and Portugal. While Spain will be getting a small last bit of the transit pie, Portugal will miss out on the event completely, as Venus will be just touching the solar disc at sunset.

North America

Date: 5th June

From Event start till Sunset
The event actually occurs when the date is 5th June, owing to its position on the other side of the International Date Line. So Venus will just touch the Sun’s disc at some point in the day. The transit will be visible till the Sun sets. Venus will still be within the Solar disc at sunset.
If you’re in Alaska for some reason, you might not be able to see Russia, but will definitely get to witness the whole transit.

South America

Date: 5th June
If you’re anywhere on this continent, you have really bad luck! Only the north-western parts of the continent will get to see any transit. That too, it won’t be for too long!

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Author: Debjyoti Bardhan Google Profile for Debjyoti Bardhan
Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.

Debjyoti Bardhan has written and can be contacted at debjyoti@techie-buzz.com.
  • cleitenag

    Brilliant guide.

    Can you elaborate a bit on why watching it through X-ray plates isn’t a good idea? it is rather popular.

 
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