Venus in transit: spectacle on high

Brightest and most beautiful

Venus is named after the Roman goddess of love. It is considered the brightest and most beautiful object in the heavens
next to the sun and moon, and is far brighter than any star. Read more about Venus at

The transit of Venus in 2004 as seen from the Royal Observatory
Greenwich in London.
Photograph: Ian
Waldie/Getty Images

venus in transit
By Annette Marie Hyder

photos make it look like the black navel
of the most delicious orange
in the universe

in my mind i always pictured it
as a tiny jeweled hummingbird
gliding across the giant blossom of the sun

but now i see it as venus waltzing
across a ballroom
whose floor is waxed with flame

she is hot (867°F) and sultry
as she gets lost in her lover’s gaze
until the two seem one

There wont be another one for a hundred years

Check out today’s “Venus in transit”. There wont be another one for a hundred years. Here in Minnesota it should be visible a little after 5:00 PM.

The Northfield Patch reports:

“A little after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, residents in southern Minnesota
will have an opportunity to witness one of the rarest predictable
celestial events: a transit of Venus.

Often referred to as the “Evening Star” or “Morning Star,” Venus is
the brightest natural object in our sky after the Sun and the Moon. As
the second planet from the Sun, it’s closer to the Sun than the Earth

A “transit” of Venus occurs when Venus passes between us and the Sun
in such a way that we can see Venus’s silhouette backlit by the Sun’s
brilliant light. It last happened in 2004, but it won’t happen again
until 2117. Unless you plan to shatter some human longevity records,
this is probably your last chance.

Were Venus either large enough or close enough to block out the Sun’s
light as it passed, we would call this event an eclipse, as we do when
the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. Venus, however, is a
little bit smaller than the Earth and about 27 million miles away. When
its tiny silhouette is viewed against the Sun, which lies another 66
million miles beyond, it can offer viewers a dramatic sense of the
solar’s system’s vast scale.”

“There’s a little black spot on the sun today” — King of Pain, The Police

Listening to King of Pain, The Police:

Links of interest:

i09: Everything you need to know to catch Tuesday’s rare transit of Venus (This piece is awesomely informative.)
The Washington Post: The last Venus transit for 105 years