Rare 'transit of Venus' begins

Posted at 06/06/2012 7:19 AM

The rare astronomical event called "Transit of Venus" has started past 6 a.m. Wednesday.

During the transit, Venus was seen as a small black disk passing in front of the sun. Astronomers and enthusiasts are waiting to see the planet reach the middle of its path at 9:29 a.m.

Astronomers said the last transit of Venus occurred in 2004. The next one, after today's event, will occur in 2117.

They said all the “contacts” of this rare astronomical occurrence will be visible in Greenland, North and Central America, Pacific islands, Australasia, Asia (including the Philippines), East Africa and most of Europe.

A “contact” indicates the location of Venus as it passes in front of the sun.

The following contacts will be observed in the Philippines during the following times:

  • Contact I – 6:09 a.m. (Venus is entirely outside the disk of the sun, moving inward)
  • Contact II – 6:27 a.m. (Venus is entirely inside the disk of the sun, moving further inward)
  • Greatest - 9:29 a.m. (Venus is at the middle of its path across the solar disk; marks the halfway point in the timing of the transit)
  • Contact III – 12:31 p.m. (Venus is entirely inside the disk of the Sun, moving outward)
  • Contact IV – 12:49 p.m. (Venus is entirely outside the disk of the Sun, moving outward)

- Umagang Kay Ganda, June 6 2012