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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Feb > Feb 14

Transit Of Venus A Rare Celestial Phenomenon

From: Frank Warren <frank-warren.nul>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 04:54:36 -0800
Fwd Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 16:34:38 -0500
Subject: Transit Of Venus A Rare Celestial Phenomenon

Source: Sun Journal


February 14,2004

Transit of Venus a rare celestial phenomenon:
It will occur June 8

Patricia Smith
Freedom ENC

Few, if any, who are alive today have ever seen a transit of
Venus - the last time one occurred was 1882.

Those born in the 20th Century will get their first glimpse of
the celestial event this summer when Venus passes directly
between the Earth and the sun June 8.

"Because of the rarity of the event it's kind of an interesting
phenomenon to see," said Richard McColman, program producer with
the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill.

As the planets revolve around the solar system they move
closely, but not quite, on the same plane, so planetary
alignments do not happen that often, McColman said.

The next Transit of Venus will happen in 2012.

The entire Transit of Venus will last about six hours, but only
the last hour and 26 minutes will be visible from North Carolina
as the sun rises, McColman said.

"Basically it will just look like kind of a little dot that just
gradually moves across the sun," McColman said.

As the planet starts to come out from in front of the sun,
viewers will see a sunlight ring (the illuminated atmosphere)
around the part that is not silhouetted, said Brian Davis,
professor of physics at the University of North Carolina at

"That's an incredible sight," Davis said.

The Transit of Venus can be seen without magnification, but it
will be very small, McColman said.

"Most people would not even notice it," he said.

By telescope viewers will be able to discern the planet as
opposed to a diffused-appearing sunspot, he said.

Using a proper sun filter is a must, regardless of how the
transit is viewed, McColman said. Never look directly at the
sun, he said, because it can cause damage to the eyes.

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