In less than two weeks, Venus will transit the Sun for the last time in our lives. Literally. The planet moves in between Earth and the Sun twice every few years, but these periods are spaced more than a century apart. The next Venusian transit will occur in December 2117.
The upcoming transit will take place between June 5-6, 2012, and will be visible from most of the world, both during sunrise and sunset. The last instance when the event took place was on June 8, 2004, and the next two will be in 2117 and December 2125.
Astronomers observed the first Venusian transit – which helped them determine the diameter of our neighboring worlds – in 1639. Astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks saw Venus pass in front of the Sun from his home near Manchester, the UK.
The June 5-6 event will be visible in its entirety from Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, the Pacific area and eastern Asia, while its beginning will be visible from North America and the end from Europe.