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Venus Transit 2012: Live Coverage Of Tuesday's Astronomical Event

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Kristin Moore
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« on: June 09, 2012, 06:13:47 pm »



Purple Haze

Image courtesy ESA/NASA

A crescent Venus shines in an ultraviolet snapshot taken by the NASA-ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. As Venus circles the sun, it appears to go through phases that mimic those of our moon when seen through a telescope. (Related: "'Hot Jupiter' Planet's Phases Seen—A First.")

Venus has been getting closer to Earth ahead of the 2012 transit, and the planet's disk has been appearing to not only grow bigger but also to morph from a full disk to a thinning crescent.

In the final few days before the transit, the ends of the crescent will appear to wrap around the planet's disk, forming a ring. This phenomenon is caused by dust in Venus's upper atmosphere scattering sunlight.

Published June 4, 2012
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