Transit of Venus, June 5-6, 2012. Astronomical Society of the Pacific

The phrase "once in a lifetime" denotes a rare event. A transit of Venus is actually a "twice-in-your-lifetime" event, because these transits occur twice during an eight-year span, with each pair separated by more than a century. The current transit pair (2004 and 2012) concludes this year. Miss it, and you'll have to wait 105 years to see another. So where will you be on June 5–6, 2012?

Transit of Venus |

Transit of Venus cover

The eight-page PDF article "The 2012 Transit of Venus" (from Mercury, Spring 2011) explains the science of transits, describes the attempts to make critical measurements of Venus transits during the 18th and 19th centuries, and discusses where and when to view the upcoming 2012 transit. It also includes a list of resources and a section on how to safely view the transit.

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Watch the Transit of Venus with an Astronomy Club!

The Transit of Venus will be a wonderful sight and a great time for solar viewing. One of the safest and most fun ways to see the transit of Venus is with an astronomy club. In the U.S.A., contact a NASA Night Sky Network astronomy club. To find events internationally, check the Sun-Earth Day website.

If you're a NSN astronomy club, you may be eligible to receive the ASP's Our Magnetic Sun ToolKit to power up your ToV outreach!

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific manages the NASA Night Sky Network, a community of almost 400 astronomy clubs across the United States.

Sun funnels

If you'd like to build a Sun Funnel (far left) to attach to a telescope (left) in order to safely watch the transit of Venus, this 44-page PDF (updated version supplemented with some additional content that answers common questions received by the authors) will show you how. "Build a Sun Funnel for Group Viewing of Sunspots & the Transit of Venus" by Richard Tresch Fienberg (American Astronomical Society), Chuck Bueter (, and Louis A. Mayo (NASA Goddard / Honeywell Tech. Solutions), was presented as a workshop at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's 2011 annual meeting in Baltimore, MD. In addition to detailing a step-by-step construction method, the PDF also delves into the mathematical underpinnings of the Sun Funnel design.

If you're wondering about the degree of difficulty to build one, see the blog post at

Transit of Venus map

Where on Earth will be the transit of Venus be visible? That is the first question from everyone who learns about this rare and remarkable astronomical event coming on June 5-6, 2012. This map (click on the map for a larger version) answers that question along with a brief explanation of the transit for the interested public. For a detailed explanation of what the map shows, go to the Mapping Next year's Transit webpage.

Transit of Venus

A new edition of Universe in the Classroom featuring the 2012 Transit of Venus features some historical background, classroom activities, and lists of resources that include how the Kepler Mission is using the transit method in the search for exoplanets.

Keck observatory

Hawaii 2012: Transit of Venus Tour
June 2-7, 2012

The last Transit of Venus in our lifetime will occur on June 5-6, 2012. For North Americans, sunset occurs before the transit concludes. But Hawaii is one of the closest places to North America where the entire transit will be visible. Join Dave Eicher and Dr. Alex Filippenko as they lead the way with astronomical talks, star parties, and a visit to the Keck Observatory on the Big Island of Hawaii.

A portion of the revenue from this tour goes to support the ASP's educational programs.

transit of Venus

The ASP's Highlights in the Sky: Your 2012 Pocket Almanac features transit history, safe viewing information, resources, and other 2012 celestial highlights. Download the pdf or request a hard copy by emailing webmaster {at}

Keck observatory

NASA EDGE is proud to join forces with the Sun-Earth Day Team to celebrate the Transit of Venus! On June 5, 2012, we will air a live 'remote' webcast from Mauna Kea, Hawaii, through our partnership with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The event will not be visible in its entirety from the continental US. A mountainside Visitors Station site near the observatories in Hilo, Hawaii, will give a wonderful view of the entire transit with little chance of cloud cover. Leveraging our partnership with the University of Hawaii in Hilo will enable us to bring you real-time images of the transit for the duration of the event in various wavelengths of light.This webcast will also emphasize the history and importance of Hawaiian astronomy and its connections to NASA space science. It will use the backdrop of Mauna Kea, combined with world-class University of Hawaii, NASA scientists, and Hawaiian cultural leaders to weave multigenerational stories combining ancient ways of knowing with modern scientific discoveries.