In 2012, Venus came face to face with the Sun and was captured transiting in its orbit. The rare celestial event that happened a decade ago will not happen for another 10 years and astronomers across the world are reminiscing about the event when they saw the planet appear as a black dot crossing with the Sun as its backdrop.
The Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) had captured the rare celestial event and Nasa has released an image of the time when Venus appeared as a black dot in front of the massive sun.
“She was one of the rare ones, so effortlessly herself, and the world loved her for it,” Nasa said in an Instagram update releasing the outworldly image of the planet’s solar transit.
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A transit is when one object crosses in front of another in space and solar transits are a planet’s passage across the Sun’s face, as seen from Earth’s perspective, where the only observable transits are that of Mercury and Venus.
WILL NOT HAPPEN FOR ANOTHER 100 YEARS
The planetary event was rare as it will not happen for another 100 years and most people of our generation will not be around to witness the event that was observed from all continents of the planet a decade ago.
Nasa has said that Venus’ solar transits happen in pairs just over 100 years apart. While the last pair of transits occurred in 2004 and 2012, the next will not happen until 2117.
“The solar transit in 2012 lasted nearly 7 hours and was visible worldwide, with observers on all seven continents able to view the event. Transits help astronomers study the atmospheric composition and orbit of planets,” Nasa said in a statement.
While Venus recently aligned with four other planets to form a rare planetary alignment in the skies above Earth, a human-made spacecraft has recently captured images of Mercury that show a heavily cratered world on the surface. Several countries, including India, are planning missions to explore Venus, which is also called Earth’s twin sister due to its immense similarity with our home planet.