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The 2012 Transit of Venus

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Observers around the world (at least those who who were blessed with clear skies) were able to look up yesterday and view our neighboring planet Venus as it passed directly between us and the Sun. This rare event will not reoccur for another 105 years. Scientists used the six-hour transit as an opportunity to perform experiments, helping refine techniques to observe and measure distant exoplanets. Gathered here are images of yesterday's event, seen from from orbit and from here on Earth. [29 photos]

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Venus moves across the Sun in this image captured by Japan's satellite Hinode, on June 6, 2012. One of the rarest astronomical events occurred yesterday, when Venus passed directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won't occur again until 2117. (Reuters/JAXA)
Venus moves across the Sun in this image captured by Japan's satellite Hinode, on June 6, 2012. One of the rarest astronomical events occurred yesterday, when Venus passed directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won't occur again until 2117. (Reuters/JAXA)
Details on the relative sizes and distances involved in yesterday's transit of Venus. (Sun Image by NASA SDO) #
Planet Venus, visible as a black dot, in transit across the Sun near the Victory Tower in Chittorgarh, India, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Atish Aman) #
A girl uses a sun observation glass to watch the transit of Venus in Medellin, Colombia, on June 5, 2012. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images) #
An amateur astronomer observes Venus in a clearing in a grove near Jena, Germany, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Candy Welz) #
Venus in transit across the Sun, seen from in New Delhi, on June 6, 2012. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images) #
Venus before the Sun, seen through clouds above New Delhi, on June 6, 2012. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images) #
Venus appears as a black dot in front of the Sun, over Amman, Jordan, on June 6, 2012. (Reuters/Ali Jarekji) #
Josh Romney and his wife Amanda Romney watch the planet Venus transit across the Sun outside Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A jet passes in front of the Sun, as Venus is transiting, as seen from Huntington Beach, California, on June 5, 2012. Original here. (CC BY Jim Nista) #
In the Wilhelm-Föster Observatory in Berlin, a woman points to the shadow of Venus on a projected image of the Sun, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Christoph Soeder) #
An image from NASA's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the full disk of the Sun, as Venus passes in front of it on June 5, 2012. Also visible are numerous sunspots. (NASA/SDO) #
The planet Venus transits at sunset, seen over the Great Salt Lake outside Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2012. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #
A bird comes into land atop one of the domes of the landmark Taj Mahal as Venus begins to pass in front of the Sun, as visible from Agra, India, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Hong Kong skygazers use special filters on telescopes and binoculars to observe the transit of Venus along the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) #
Ultra-high-definition view of Venus as it passes out of the disk of the Sun, seen by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager aboard NASA's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory. (NASA/SDO HMI) #
Venus in silhouette, seen between the Earth and Sun, from NASA's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012. (NASA/SDO) #
Residents of Sarajevo use a telescope to see Venus transiting across the Sun on June 6, 2012 outside the Bosnian capital. (Elvis Barukcic/AFP/Getty Images) #
The Sun rises behind clouds over the Baltic Sea as the Venus passes in front, above Kolobrzeg, Poland, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) #
A visitor photographs a live image of Venus moving across the Sun visible through a coelostat, part of a solar telescope, at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, on June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Spectators at Edgewater Park watch the sun set as the planet Venus crosses the upper right portion of the star in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan) #
Visitors observe the Venus transit from the observation deck of the Planetarium Hamburg, in Hamburg, Germany, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Philipp Guelland) #
Venus, visible before the Sun despite the clouds, in New Delhi, on June 6, 2012. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi) #
Venus in transit, seen from Los Angeles, California on June 05, 2012. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images) #
Astronomer Raminder Samra attempts to get a view of Venus crossing the Sun using a shadow on a piece of paper and the telescope at the MacMillan Southam Observatory in Vancouver, British Columbia, on June 5, 2012. Unfortunately, cloud cover prevented a proper view of celestial event. (Reuters/Andy Clark) #
A close view of Venus passing in front of the Sun, seen from NASA's orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory, on June 5, 2012. (NASA/SDO) #
Venus passes across the sun as it rises over the Baltic Sea in Kolobrzeg, Poland, on June 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) #
Skygazers use protective eyewear to observe Planet Venus as it passes in front of the Sun in Kolkata, India, on June 6, 2012. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/GettyImages) #
Venus is barely visible in transit across the setting Sun over the Pacific Ocean, viewed from Encinitas, California, on June 5, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #

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