One of the more rare celestial events to take place this century, the Venus transit had Indians, the country over out watching the sun, this morning as a black dot moved across its sphere. Astronomy enthusiasts, including amateur enthusiasts gathered outside with their telescopes and filters as well as pinhole camers to watch the event. In Mumbai, an amateur astronomy group, KhagolMandal, gathered across various parts of the city with their instruments to view the transit, while also inviting other enthusiasts to join them. The Nehru Planetarium too, set up projectors and pinhole cameras at the planetarium, so that the people who gathered there could witness the event.

Will you watch?

Transit of Venus

The phenomenon essentially occured because Venus was revolving on its axis in between the Earth and the sun. The event happens in patterns of every 8, then 121.5 and then again 8 and finally 105.5 years. The last transit took place in 2004 and the next one will take place in 105.5 years from now in 2117. Historically, Venus transits were important because the phenomenon helped determine the first realistic size of the solar system. The transit in 1639 was observed in conjunction with the theory of parallax to determine the most realistic distance between the Sun and Earth till date. This year, the Transit provided scientists wih the opportunity to research techniques that could be applies to the search of exoplanets.

The next transit will most likely take place on the 10th and 11th of December in 2117. Each transit either takes place in June or December. The transit takes place at different times, each time and is visible from different parts of the planet each time. The next transit, in 2117, will still be partially visible in India. If you want to catch another planetary transit, Mercury will transit between the Earth and the Sun in 2016. It will transit around the 8th of May and will last approximately 7 hours. Mercury, having a smaller revolutionary axis, tends to transit more often than Venus.

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