The Transit of Venus

Cover of The Transit of Venus by David SellersThe Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event in which Venus can be viewed moving across the face of the sun. Pairs of transits eight years apart are separated by long gaps of between 105 years and six months to 121 years and six months.

Prior to the 2012 transit a transit occurred in 2004 but was not visible in New Zealand. Another transit will not occur until December 2117. Safe viewing methods must be used to view transits.

The Transit of Venus has great significance to New Zealand. It was the reason for Captain James Cook’s voyage of exploration to the South Pacific in 1769.

Transit of Venus 2012

On 6 June 2012, the transit of Venus was able to be seen in New Zealand. Over a period of six hours and thirty minutes, Venus moved across the face of the Sun. Events were held around New Zealand to mark the occasion.

More Information

Browse our catalogue

Transit of Venus


Access eResources with your library card number and password / PIN, or at our libraries.

Recommended websites

2004 Transit of Venus
By Fred Espenak, Published in Observer's Handbook 2004, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Includes links to two excel spreadsheets for calculating transits.
2012 Transit of Venus
Information from NASA.
The transit of Venus in 1882
A blog from Te Ara describing events in the New Zealand scientific community during the 1882 transit.
The Venus Transit 2004
The European Southern Observatory's VT-2004 programme is aimed at students and teachers in schools
Transit of
US based transit of Venus website
Print this page