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Jun 5, 2012

Transit of Venus across the Sun; 117 years in the making

A singular event today captured the attention of astronomers around the globe and those who simply follow the stars. A rare astronomical event that is known as the transit of Venus took place. It started this afternoon when a small dot began to move across the face of the Sun. The planet Venus was making its last trek across the sun. It only happens in pairs about once every century and the next one will not take place until 2117, which means that viewing the transit of Venus is a lifetime opportunity. For a century, astronomers worked feverishly to determine the distance between the earth and the sun. In the 1700s it was realized that the transit of Venus could lead to determine that.  The 1769 transit put the distance at ninety five million miles which is really just two million more than what is now believed to be the average distance. We asked the folks at the Met to give us their take while in-house we tried to get a glimpse from our Coney Drive studios’ roof top.


Via Phone: Frank Tench, Forecaster

Frank Tench

“The passage of Venus across the sun is just an apparent passage because it’s not crossing the sun as such but it appears to because of its path around the sun just like the earth moves around the sun; it just so happens that it’s a similar passage and Venus being one of the nearest planets to the earth, it will give the appearance of a little dot across the sun and with the remaining hours of sunlight this evening it appears that it’s moving across the sun but it’s several million miles away from the sun. It can be compared in a sense similar to what happens in a lunar eclipse except that it is so much farther away from the sun that it appears like a dot on the sun’s surface.”


Andrea Polanco

“Okay forecaster, how long does this transit last?”


Via Phone: Frank Tench

“It’s gonna last several hours going about the time of the start which would be from around this evening going into the night. It’s about a six hour transit from evening to when it’s completed later this evening.”


Andrea Polanco

“Now, Forecaster it is said that viewing is best seen in the Americas, Pacific and Asia; will anyone from this region be able to see this transit?”


Via Phone: Frank Tench

“In this part of the world for a brief time just before sunset people in this part of the world will be able to catch a portion of the transit of the planet Venus across the sun.”


Andrea Polanco

“Awrite and what time would that be today?”


Via Phone: Frank Tench

“Say maybe just before sun set in the next hour or so; sunset this evening is set for about six twenty five or say maybe right up until sunset. If you want to look at it as you alluded to, it is not something recommended that you look directly in the direction where the sun is shining.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Transit of Venus across the Sun; 117 years in the making”

  1. Jimmy Criminal says:

    You supposed to put this on the news BEFORE it happens so Belizeans can look up and see this once in a lifetime happening. Slow again in Belize. Thank God I have Fox News to keep updated with world happenings.

  2. Babygirl says:

    Agree with you 100% Jimmy Criminal

  3. I Belize it says:

    Criminal, Fox news and Thank God, that’s a combo.

  4. Elly says:

    One would think that with the advent of the computer we’d be able to log on and watch UPDATED news here in Belize, right. NOT SO! Seems like if you don’t have access to a television or radio you won’t be in the know until one day later. Hmmm. Wonder when things will change here, after all computers are the new rage, right, so its defeating the purpose. Let’s see which of the Media Houses will be the trend setter. Tick Toc…Tic Toc…

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