Trivandrum: Kerala’s sky gazers who longed to watch Venus pass by like a moving beauty spot across the face of the sun, were disappointed. All thanks to the monsoon.
“Last week I received a mail from Cosmos magazine about the Venus transit. Since then I was eagerly waiting to see it. It is a rare phenomena which will happen only twice in a lifetime. I was very sad that I could not watch it today,” said Rahul, a stargazer.
Transit is an event when planet Venus or Mercury passes across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth. Transits are very rare. They come in pairs eight years apart, but between pairs there is a gap of either 105.5 years or 121.5 years. So the next transit will be seen only after 100 years.
"Venus is about 100th of the diameter of the Sun, so it's essentially just a black spot superimposed on the disc of the sun, but it moves across from one side to the other. The last transit which occurred in June 2004 was visible across India. The next transit is expected to appear in 2117," said an official from Regional Science Centre and Planetarium, Calicut.
Planetariums in Kerala, including the Priyadarshini planetarium in the capital, were crowded with school children and astronomers from 6 o’ clock in the morning to watch this rare and amazing astronomical spectacle. The curious astronomy buffs were soon disappointed as the monsoon took centre stage.
“We got up early morning to watch it through a filtered telescope. Our
teachers told that the last transit occurred in 2004 and this will be
the second of the current pair of transits, so there is going to be a
very long wait until the next one. We are sad that we were not lucky
enough to experience the transit in our lifetime. But my friend told me
that the videos will be available on the internet,” said a disappointed
Transit allows scientists to learn how to decipher atmospheres of
planets outside our solar system, as they cross in front of their own
stars. Only six transits have ever been observed - in 1639, 1761, 1769,
1874, 1882 and 2004 - because they need magnification to be seen
properly, though the event has happened more than 50 times since 2000
Image Courtesy: www.space.com
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