Home > Solar Transits > 2012 Transit of Venus Drapeau LangueFrançais

2012 June 5-6 Transit of Venus

A rare phenomenon occurred on 2012 June 5-6: the planet Venus was in transit in front of the Sun. The previous transit was in June 2004 and the one before was in 1882 (one of the only existing photography of the solar disk and Venus during the 1882 transit). The observation of the 1882 Venus transit was the most well-known instance to measure the distance between Earth and Sun, that distance being used as the base unit for distances between all heavenly bodies.
The June 2012 transit of Venus was the last one in our lifetime, the next such alignment occurring in 2117. I was planning on observing the Venus transit from the Big Island in Hawaii, at the 4,200-meter high CFHT on top of the Mauna Kea. However high winds and the many observers made me relocate to the 3,400-meter high Mauna Loa Solar Observatory where the winds were not as strong. Unfortunately the seeing was far from perfect, particularly during the last two hours of the transit. Worth to mention is that it was a real pleasure to see that during two controls TSA agents mishandled my observation equipment resulting in damaged equipment as they failed to repack correctly according to the provided instructions.

On the 2012 Transit of Venus visibility map you can see that since we are at the end of spring there is an area around the North Pole where the Sun never sets, the whole transit being visible with the Sun low on the horizon.
Inversely, around the South Pole, there is an area where the Sun never rises, the transit being invisible. You can also notice two zones, one to the south where the Sun will rise and then set and one to the north where the Sun will set and then rise during the transit.
Unlike the 2004 transit, which was not visible from Pointe Vénus in Tahiti, the 2012 June 5 one did allow a repeat of the 1769 observations by James Cook.

To find out if you could have observed Venus during the June transit, use this Venus transit calculator.


Click on thumbnails for a larger version

Page "Description" |  Page "Photos"
2012 Venus Transit Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Composite of the 2012 Venus transit as seen from the Mauna Loa on the Big Island in Hawaii
Mauna Kea From Mauna Loa Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Mauna Kea from the Mauna Loa

2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
A couple of seconds after external ingress
(22:11:07 UTC)
2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
A couple of seconds after internal ingress
(22:28:10 UTC)
2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
A couple of minutes after internal ingress
(22:32:22 UTC)
2012 Transit Venus
23:56:52 UTC

Maximum 2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Maximum

2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
02:59:46 UTC

2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
A couple of seconds before internal egress
(04:26:21 UTC)
2012 Transit Venus Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
A couple of seconds before external egress
(04:41:20 UTC)
Sunset Mauna Loa Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Sunset from the Mauna Loa

Sunset Mauna Loa Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Sunset from the Mauna Loa

Sunset Mauna Loa Hawaii Mauna Loa Big Island
Sunset from the Mauna Loa

Please install latest Flash Player to run SunAeon Venus Transit 2012
Interactive animation of the 2012 Venus transit from the Mauna Loa

Sun SDO HMI Continuum 2012 June 6
View from the SDO satellite of the Sun on 2012 June 6 during the Venus transit

Page "Description" |  Page "Photos"

Last page update on June 10, 2012.
Site Map


Page Rank
Google


Guest Book Guest Book
Xavier M. Jubier


Skype Status