NASA Compiles Stunning Transit of Venus Video

| 6 Jun 2012 22:03

See a rare planetary phenomenon without burning your eyeballs.

Astrophysicist and well-known badass Neil deGrasse Tyson once calculated that you could cook a 16" pepperoni pizza in nine seconds on the surface of Venus. For what it's worth, the sun could similarly cook Venus - about 1,443,000 of it at once, if need be. These two galactic hotbeds converged in a rare cosmic ballet on June 5, 2012 when observers on Earth observed the transit of Venus across the sun. Using terabytes upon terabytes of photographs and videos, NASA compiled a video of the event, showing the sun's radiance across a spectrum of colors and Venus as a haunting, ephemeral silhouette.

As far as the video goes, it's probably just better to watch it, as no description could really do it justice. Against a dramatic orchestral backdrop, NASA shows Venus moving across the sun in its various spectra: a stately yellow, a fiery orange, and a subdued purple. If you wanted to see the transit of Venus without burning your eyes out or constructing a rudimentary projection device, this is about as good as it gets.

The transit of Venus occurs in eight-year pairs once every 105 or 121 years, depending on the relative positions of Venus and Earth. This means that while the last transit took place in 2004, the next one will not occur until 2117. Unless you have plans to live substantially longer than any human being in history, this video will be about as close as you get to seeing this planetary phenomenon again. Not to worry, though: If you're keen on catching astronomical oddities, there will be a total solar eclipse on November 13, 2012. You'll have to be in the southern Pacific Ocean or a narrow stretch of northern Australia to see it, of course, but chances are that NASA will catalogue that one, too.

Source: NASAexplorer

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