Venus traverses across the face of the Sun

In a rare but inevitable celestial event, the second planet of the solar system travelled across the face of the Sun appearing as a black dot this morning across Asian and South Asian countries. Sky gazers across China, Korea and India took to the roofs and streets as they caught the sight of the event through blank photographic films, telescopes and reflective film glazed glasses. The event is said to occur in pairs stretched across eight years and is separated from another such event that only occurs once in 105 years. The next event is therefore scheduled to take place in 2117.

2209 hours GMT, Venus began its transit across the Sun’s northern hemisphere appearing as a black dot. The transit was carefully followed by astronomers and space scientists across the world who witnessed event through live feeds. Amazed eyes from almost all the seven continents including Antarctica caught a glimpse of Venus’ transit and even the astronauts up in the space shuttle were able to see the planets movement that took place on Tuesday morning and lasted for about 6 hours and 40 minutes. The unique and one of the rarest events, which was expected to become the most photographed celestial event in recent space history provided scientists and astronomers a huge opportunity to understand Venus.

Although named after the goddess of love, Venus isn’t a plant that arouses many rosy and romantic feeling mainly because of its chokingly thick and dense atmosphere which is formed of mostly Carbon dioxide, a Greenhouse Gas. With surface temperatures reaching to about 900 Fahrenheit or 480 Celsius, the planet is doused with acidic rain of sulfuric acid on a continual basis.

Scientists studying Venus mostly grapple with the inability to understand beyond what is already known about it. The Tuesday’s transit allowed them yet another unique opportunity to understand the planet and unlock some mysteries that hold value to understanding climatic changes that are occurring closer home on our Earth. The main advantage of events such as this and the pursuit of improving our understanding of Venus is to develop techniques that help in measurement of atmospheric dynamics and understanding of their consequent impacts.

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