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Transit of Venus

Transit of inferior planets

Mercury and Venus are inferior planets in the Solar System as they are nearer to the Sun than the Earth.

A transit of an inferior planet occurs when the inferior planet, the Sun and the Earth align in a straight line with the inferior planet in between. During the transit, the inferior planet appears as a dark dot across the Sun's disc. This phenomenon does not occur every year because of the inclination of the inferior planet's orbit to that of the Earth (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Figure 1 The relative positions of the Sun, an inferior planet and the Earth during the transit of the inferior planet.

Transit of Venus

Venus is the second closest planet to the Sun in the Solar System. It is also closer to the Earth than any other planets. Besides the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the brightest object in the sky.

Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical phenomenon. The next transit will occur on 6 June 2012. After which it will only recur in 2117.


The different stages during the transit of Venus on 6 June 2012

 The different stages during the transit of Venus on 6 June 2012


Beginning of transit:

       Exterior contact: Venus begins to enter the Sun's disc

       Interior contact: Venus is just entirely inside the Sun's disc

End of transit:

       Interior contact: Venus begins to leave the Sun's disc

       Exterior contact: Venus is just entirely outside the Sun's disc

Transits of Venus from Year 2001 to Year 3000

21st Century
(Year 2001-2100)

22nd Century
(Year 2101-2200)

8 June 2004

11 December 2117

6 June 2012

8 December 2125

23rd Century
(Year 2201-2300)

24th Century
(Year 2301-2400)

11 June 2247

13 December 2360

9 June 2255

10 December 2368

25th Century
(Year 2401-2500)

26th Century
(Year 2501-2600)

12 June 2490


10 June 2498


27th Century
(Year 2601-2700)

28th Century
(Year 2701-2800)

16 December 2603

15 June 2733

13 December 2611

13 June 2741

29th Century
(Year 2801-2900)

30th Century
(Year 2901-3000)

16 December 2846

16 June 2976

14 December 2854

14 June 2984

Last revision date: <20 Dec 2012>