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Published:May 5th, 2012 18:06 EST
Geographic Visibility Event of the Year: Venus Transits Across the Horizon

Geographic Visibility Event of the Year: Venus Transits Across the Horizon

By Ron G Anselm

 

For all you science lovers out there and especially the ones that have a passion for astronomy get ready for one of the rarest events to only take place seven times in science history over the past four to five hundred years. This rare event is known as the Geographic Visibility.

This is when Venus transits across the horizon and is in alignment with the sun which in the terms is known as the disk of the sun and is the rarest of planetary alignments. This event has only happened in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, and 1882, 2004 and now is predicted to happen in June 2012.

A little play by play about the events occurrence starts off with transits characterized by contacts. The events begins with Venus` disk is in external transit with the sun.

This is known as contact one. In contact two, the entire disk of Venus is at first seen when the plant is internally tangent with the sun. Through contact two, Venus slowly traverses or in other terms moves slowly at a rate of four arc minutes an hour which probably in science terms equates to; let`sjust say a snail`s pace

So, in play by play terms and when you are reading this you have to sort of think of it as a step by step process and thinking in mechanical terms. First Venus starts to move or goes into transit across the horizon on galaxy. Second Venus is in alignment with the sun. As it continues to slowly move different events start to happen. The events are the visibility of being able to see Venus in sort of different stages as it slowly moves.

In contact or step three Venus has moved from its normal planetary alignment, then has moved in front of the sun or in complete alignment with the Large fiery star known as the sun, then it slowly moves around the sun to the other side which in scientific terms is called reaching the opposite limb and once again is internally tangent or in complete alignment with the sun on the other side. So, looking at the scientific terms of this rare event, contacts one and two are known as the ingress and contact three and four are known as the egress.

So, ingress would be Venus moving into the path of the sun, contact two is Venus in-line with the sun, contact three is Venus moving out of the path of the sun and toward the opposite other side of the sun and contact four is Venus once again in-line with the sun but on the opposite end.

The best part of this event and the greatest transit is the instant minimum angular separation between Venus and the sun which if you are say about in the center of Earth`s core, (I guess that would be somewhere in the center of the United States or maybe a little South in Central America you will get the best visibility of Venus.

This event is based around watching Venus as it moves across the sky. Each phase of the event contact one through four is expected to take or last six hours so you will have plenty of time to at least catch a glimpse wherever you may be at those times. The last event of 2004 featured Venus crossing the Southern Hemisphere of the sun and this event is predicted for Venus to cross the Northern Hemisphere of the sun.

So, for all you science passionates (is passionates really a word?)Hum, well you know what I mean. Get ready for a slow moving but insightful event that you can tell you Grand kids about that you were a part of.

Pull out that broken telescope, fire up the grill, once again hit K-Mart and buy that blue light special lawn chair and get that blender ready to make those sweet, umbrella drinks that make you make the face of biting into a bitter lemon as you sip through your curly straw and watch this spectacular science event that is making news headlines around the globe and watch Venus go from being just a planet that no one really ever thinks about to a shiny celebrity as it puts on one of the greatest Geographic events in Astronomy history next month.