The 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.
- There was a 2012 Transit of Venus Forum in Gisborne and Tolaga Bay.
- The University of Canterbury hosted events to watch the transit with solar telescopes and astronomers on hand. The transit was live streamed on the university website from the optical telescope at Mt John.
- Science Media Centre Transit of Venus 2012 resource page.
- Radio New Zealand's Our Changing World programme, 2012 Transit of Venus (52' 26"). A special feature from the 2012 Transit of Venus celebrations at Tolaga Bay, covering astronomy, history and sustainable land use issues.
Browse our catalogue
- Transit of Venus articles in Science Reference Center.
- Transits of Mars and Venus in Britannica Library: Adults
- 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 Venus.org
- US based transit of Venus website