The transit of Venus excites scientists, too!

Posted by Karri Ferron
on Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Venus appears as a black dot on the lower left edge of the Sun in this image from NASA's Transition Region and Coronal Explorer, captured during the 2004 transit. The space agency's latest solar scope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, will be one of many instruments studying the 2012 event. // photo by NASA/TRACE/LMSAL
Everyone's gearing up for today's transit of Venus, the last one until 2117. Here at Astronomy, we've received tons of information about cool science related to the event, and there's no way we could write individually about them all. Instead, I provide a summary of some, and if you're interested, you can click on the links to find out more.

- NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory will watch the transit to help calibrate its instruments as well as to learn more about Venus's atmosphere. Find out more details and how you can watch the observation >>

- Many European Space Agency missions, including Venus Express, Proba-2, SOHO, and Hinode, will monitor Venus and the Sun during the transit. Preview what their observations will be >>

- Scientists will use the Hubble Space Telescope to observe sunlight reflected from the Moon during the transit. Find out what such a view will teach astronomers >>

- The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii is one of the few ground-based telescopes capable of directly observing the transit. Learn what kind of science the telescope will perform >>

- Astronaut Don Pettit will observe the transit from his temporary home aboard the International Space Station. Check out his observing plans >>


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