2012 Venus Transit: A Rare Celestial Sight (Infographic)

If you miss it in June you won't have another opportunity until the year 2117.
If you miss it in June you won't have another opportunity until the year 2117. (Image credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor)

The 2012 transit of Venus across the face of the sun will be the last time the event will ever be visible to people alive today. The next time the celestial sight will occur is in 2117. Learn more about the rare Venus transit, which last occurred in 2004, here in the SPACE.com infographic above.


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. It will last about 6.5 hours as Venus crosses the solar disk from our perspective, appearing in silhouette as a slow-moving tiny black dot, weather permitting.

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


  • More resources for the 2012 Venus Transit:

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Karl Tate
Space.com contributor

Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.