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. [See our Transit of Venus 2012: Complete Coverage Special Report.]
This Solar Dynamics Observatory image shows the positions of Venus and Mercury a few days before the Venus transit of June 5-6, 2012.
This still from a NASA video shows the position of Venus on the sun's disk in Pacific Daylight Time on June 5, 2012 during the last transit of Venus for 105 years.
Will you be lucky enough to see an amazing image like this? An Airbus 320 (Paris-Madrid) passes exactly in front of Venus' disk near the moment of the second contact. This image was taken by Yannick Le Garrec from Cerny, France on June 8, 2004.
If you miss it in June you won't have another opportunity until the year 2117.
The transit of Venus will take place June 5-6, 2012.
On Tuesday June 5, 2012, Venus will be exactly between the Earth and the sun. Venus' orbit (shown in grey in this edge-on view) is tilted 3.4 degrees to the Earth's orbit (shown in green).
This still from a NASA video shows the positions of Venus on the face of the sun at various stages during the transit of Venus on June 5, 2012, as well as on June 4, 2004.
The safest viewing of the Venus transit can be obtained by using a projection of the sun, as shown here. Henry Thackeray stands in front of an image of the June 8, 2004 Venus transit taken by Francis Thackerey for school in Pretoria, South Africa.
World visibility of the transit of Venus on 5-6 June 2012. Spitsbergen is an Artic island – part of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway – and one of the few places in Europe from which the entire transit is visible. For most of Europe, only the end of the transit event will be visible during sunrise on 6 June.
This image displaying the "black drop effect" was taken by the Astronomical School of Odessa from Odessa, Ukraine on June 8, 2004.
This chart shows the times of "contact" between Venus and the sun during the transit of Venus for major cities on June 5, 2012.
This example of the tool at transitofvenus.nl, is set for observing conditions from Svalbard, where ESA will be reporting live during the transit.
This diagram shows the predicted path of Venus across the sun's face on June 5-6, 2012.
The map shows the global visibility of the Transit of Venus of June 5-6, 2012.
Key phases during a transit of a planet across the face of the Sun are often referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th contact. [See our Transit of Venus 2012: Complete Coverage Special Report.]