Rare Solar Event: Venus in Transit Across the Sun

Extraordinary images were released by a study documenting the rare transit of planet Venus across the sun — that is, when the planet travels directly between us and our star’s surface. The spectacle occurs only once every 115 years! However, it last took place a little more than three years ago.

Since then, a joint project between NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been examining and analyzing the data. It’s one of the few times when a planet is so strongly lit from the back – giving scientists a rare chance to examine how different elements in the planet’s atmosphere block or react to different wavelengths of radiation being emitted from the sun. Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7

Close observation could equip future future missions with vital information about Venus and help identify similar planets when they cross in front of distant suns. The joint study appeared on June 23 in the journal Nature Communications.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has no natural satellite, being named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky. It is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System, even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. For more interesting facts on Venus.


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