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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, 06:15:59 pm »



Edging Closer

Image courtesy TRACE/NASA

NASA's sun-watching satellite Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) caught an extraordinarily clear closeup view of Venus entering the sun's disk during the 2004 transit.

Scientifically, the most important parts of a Venus transit are the moments when the planet appears to enter and leave the sun's disk, Pasachoff said.

Timing exactly when the planet crossed the solar limb from different locations helped 18th-century astronomers more precisely measure the distance between Earth and the sun. Today scientists hope to use the Venus transit to study the planet's upper atmosphere.

(Related: "Venus Craft Reveals Lightning, Supports Watery Past.")

Published June 4, 2012
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