On June 6, 2012, the inhabitants of most regions of the Earth witnessed a unique, rare astronomical phenomenon - the passage of Venus across the disk of the Sun. The next time the transit can be observed in more than 100 years - in 2117.
The transit of Venus is a spectacular sight: within a few hours, the planet passes exactly between the Sun and the Earth, covering a small part of the star. At the same time, Venus looks like a small dot or ball. Although its diameter is four times that of the Moon, unlike a satellite, it cannot block the entire Sun, since it is at a greater distance from the Earth than the Moon.
This year, Venus traversed the Sun before passing through the descending node of its orbit, so the trajectory was in the upper part of the star.
The transit of Venus across the solar disk is one of the few predictable astronomical phenomena. It was described by the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Persians, Arabs, Mayans and many other peoples. It happens four times in 243 years: twice in December with a break of 8 years and after 121.5 years twice in June (with the same break). In 1639, the Englishman Jeremy Horrocks first observed the passage of Venus across the Sun for a scientific purpose. And 250 years ago, in 1761, the great scientist Lomonosov, watching the transit right from the window of his house, discovered the atmosphere of Venus.
This fascinating phenomenon can only be observed by taking precautions, otherwise the retina of the eyes can be seriously damaged. You need to look at the bright Sun through special glass (or at least a smoked ordinary one), a telescope, and binoculars. But best of all is through a telescope. In this case, a dark filter should be placed on the optics. In the most extreme case, even the protective glass of electric welders or a floppy disk of a broken floppy disk will do.
In Russia, the passage of Venus could be fully seen by the inhabitants of Siberia and the Far East. The most curious thing was the entry of the planet onto the solar disk (the so-called "drop effect"), which occurred at dawn. The weather conditions prevented Muscovites from seeing the phenomenon - high clouds. The phenomenon was completely invisible in most of Africa, South America and throughout the Atlantic Ocean.