Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Transit of Venus

Tomorrow, we will witness an astronomical event which happens every 243 years (it also occurs in pairs with an 8 yr gap). Tomorrow's event will be the second for our generation since the first one happened last 2004. We will observe this event tomorrow using the telescope at PAGASA Astronomical Observatory at UP Diliman. 
This is like a solar eclipse, but instead of the moon, it will be Venus which will pass between the Earth and the Sun. Since Venus is very far from Earth, then it would only appear like a small black disk passing in front of the sun.

According to PAGASA, it will be observed in the Philippines during the following times:
Contact I – 6:09 a.m. (Venus is entirely outside the disk of the sun, moving inward)
Contact II – 6:27 a.m. (Venus is entirely inside the disk of the sun, moving further inward)
Greatest - 9:29 a.m. (Venus is at the middle of its path across the solar disk; marks the halfway point in the timing of the transit)
Contact III – 12:31 p.m. (Venus is entirely inside the disk of the Sun, moving outward)
Contact IV – 12:49 p.m. (Venus is entirely outside the disk of the Sun, moving outward)

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