Rare voyage of Venus offers visual treat to sky gazers
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 16:00
  
New Delhi: The rare and much-awaited Transit of Venus unfolded in the morning sky all across the country on Wednesday, enthralling astro enthusiasts in the once-in-a-lifetime event that will not be seen for another 105 years.

The celestial spectacle offered a visual treat to many sky gazers, who trained their telescopes to watch the phenomenon.

Scientists and amateur astronomers alike peered up to the skies to watch a dark black spot slide across the fiery face of the Sun.

However, a cloudy sky restricted its visibility from Delhi and some other parts of northern India for some time.

Describing the cosmic event as "awe-inspiring", Nehru Planetarium Director N Rathnasree said that the event has a wonderful connection with modern-day research.

Astronomy enthusiasts and sky-gazers gathered at the Nehru Planetarium to watch the planet Venus, also known as the Goddess of Love, appear as a small, dark disk moving across the Sun.

Armed with telescopes and cameras, amateur astronomers camped at the Planetarium in the wee hours and took photographs of the celestial phenomenon. Large projectors, pin hole cameras and telescopes were also set up at the Planetarium to help people see the celestial event unfold.

"It is exciting to see such an event," said a Class X student Soumaya.

"It is too good to resist. It is awesome," Nisha Gupta, a school teacher said, who had seen the spectacle in 2004.

The event, which was supposed to be visible from 5.42 AM, could be seen only at 7 AM in Delhi because of cloudy sky. It was visible till 10.19 AM.

The next Venus transit will happen after 105.5 years in 2117, making this a lifetime's event, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Director C B Devgun said.

From the Earth, this phenomenon is seen when the Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth. It occurs in intervals of 8, 121?, 8, 105? and 8 years, Devgun said.

The phenomenon had to be seen only through solar filters, special solar glasses or with the help of pin hole cameras, Secretary of Planetary Society of India N Sri Raghunandan Kumar said.

The last transit of Venus occurred on June 8, 2004 and it was visible across India.

A report from Kerala said astro buffs in large numbers witnessed the rare spectacle at the Observatory and Priyadarshini Planetarium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Solarscopes and telescopes with rear projection screens were set up on the premises of the planetarium, where a large number of people gathered to view the event between 6.30 AM and 10.30 AM, an observatory official said.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 08:39


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