Yesterday, people around the world got to experience a rare phenomenon: the transit of Venus across the Sun. In the video above, Matt Parker explains (using spreadsheets!) why Venus crosses the Sun from the Earth’s point of view twice in eight years, but with a gap of 100 years between each pair.
Living in the UK, it was only possible to observe the transit at sunrise, super early in the morning. Unfortunately, clouds hampered the view, so I didn’t get to observe it in person. However, there are a plethora of amazing pictures and videos out there from people who did manage to catch a glimpse of this spectacle. Below is a selection of them.
“The videos and images displayed here are constructed from several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light and a portion of the visible spectrum. The red colored sun is the 304 angstrom ultraviolet, the golden colored sun is 171 angstrom, the magenta sun is 1700 angstrom, and the orange sun is filtered visible light. 304 and 171 show the atmosphere of the sun, which does not appear in the visible part of the spectrum.” Beautiful video from NASA.
The Guardian has an interesting article (with video and pictures) entitled, “Last transit of Venus this century draws stargazers around the world“, along with a gallery of several fantastic pictures.
The BBC had a fantastic Horizon special episode all about the transit of Venus, which is well worth watching if you’re able to. They also have a decent summary of what the Horizon episode talks about, as well as a fair few pictures of the event.
If you managed to glimpse this rare event, you are a very lucky person indeed! If, like me, you were unable to experience it, you’ll just have to hope that medical advances progress enough to keep you alive for another 105 years! I can dream, can’t I? Onwards!