space

Venus Transit of the Sun: A 2012 Observer's Guide (Infographic)

Make sure to see the June 5 passage of the planet Venus across the face of the sun: a similar event won't happen again until the year 2117.

The Venus transit of 2012 on June 5 is one of the rarest skywatching events. See tips on how to see Venus cross the face of the sun for the last time until 2117 in this SPACE.com infographic.

While this rare transit of Venus will take place on June 5 for Western Hemisphere observers, it will be June 6 local time for skywatchers in the Eastern Hemisphere. Over a seven-hour span, Earth's so-called sister planet will trek across the solar disk from our perspective, appearing in silhouette as a slow-moving tiny black dot, weather permitting.

Venus transits occur in pairs that are eight years apart, but these dual events take place less than once per century. The last one happened in 2004, and the next won't come until 2117.

"Only six such events have occurred since the invention of the telescope," said astrophysicist Sten Odenwald, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in a statement.

More resources for the 2012 Venus Transit:

Embed: Paste the code below into your site.
More from Space.com