Transit of Venus 2012

A small dot—described as a smudge, a mole, or a pimple—appeared in front of the sun on June 5, 2012. Venus was passing between the Earth and the Sun. At Stanford University, the Stanford-Brown iGEM team prepared Mylar filters and telescope projectors to observe the cosmic event. Soon students were congregating in the quad and looked skyward.

Not a bad finals study break.

The transit of Venus is one of the rarest predictable astronomical phenomena. Repeating in cycles of 243 years, transits occur with chance alignments of Earth’s and Venus’ orbital planes. These alignments results in pairs of transits spaced apart by centuries.

That means if you missed it, you’re out of luck: The next transit is in 2117. At least we’ve got some photos for you in the meantime.