The planet Venus will pass in front of the sun next week in a rare astronomical phenomenon. The transit will be visible from most parts of the Earth as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun. For most humans currently alive, this will be the last chance to see the planetary event which is predicted to next recur in 2117.
Our sister planet Venus will be exactly aligned between Earth and the Sun for 6 hours and 40 minutes starting at 6:04pm Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday 5th June. Viewers in North and South American will be able to see the first few hours of its journey across the face of the sun. Europeans will catch the last moments of the transit after the sun rises on Wednesday morning there. The whole spectacle will only be visible during daylight hours to some places in Australia and East Asia.
The transit of Venus is much rarer than solar or lunar eclipse, having happened only 7 times since the invention of the telescope. Pairs of transits occur 8 years apart, but with roughly 130 years between pairs. So the last transit was in 2004, but before that none had taken place since 1872 and 1884. The next pair will be 2117 and 2125.
Astrologers consider Venus, similar to the Earth in size, weight and gravity, to be one of the most important planets, and this event is being closely watched. “On the surface of it, together the Sun and Venus mean something very successful and powerful, but on this occasion they might just SAVE THE PLANET!” said British astrologer Alison Chester Lambert. She pointed out that previous Venus transits had taken place during times of revolution and upheaval, “We are heading for a Spiritual Revolution by the looks of it.”
Opthalmological associations have issued reminders of the dangers of looking straight into the sun. As with eclipses, it is extremely dangerous to observe this phenomenon directly without eye protection. The best ways of looking at the transit are indirectly using a pinhole camera or with professional eye protection such as high strength welder’s goggles or a telescope fitted with a proper filter.