Observers around the world (at least those who who were blessed with clear skies) were able to look up yesterday and view our neighboring planet Venus as it passed directly between us and the Sun. This rare event will not reoccur for another 105 years. Scientists used the six-hour transit as an opportunity to perform experiments, helping refine techniques to observe and measure distant exoplanets. Gathered here are images of yesterday’s event, seen from from orbit and from here on Earth.
Venus moves across the Sun in this image captured by Japan’s satellite Hinode, on June 6, 2012. One of the rarest astronomical events occurred yesterday, when Venus passed directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won’t occur again until 2117.
An image from NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the full disk of the Sun, as Venus passes in front of it on June 5, 2012. Also visible are numerous sunspots. (NASA/SDO)
Venus in silhouette, seen between the Earth and Sun, from NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012. (NASA/SDO)
A close view of Venus passing in front of the Sun, seen from NASA’s orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012. (NASA/SDO)