2004 transit of Venus. Credit: NASA/TRACE
The last transit of Venus was June 8th, 2004. The next transit of Venus will be December 11th, 2117. For most people on Earth this transit will be the last opportunity they get to see this event.
Transits of Venus are rare events for humans to see as they only occur twice every approximately 100 years. And when they do happen the two transits are eight years part. Prior to the 2004 transit the last one before then was in 1882.
For scientists this is an excellent science opportunity. In 2004 Timothy Brown, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCR), said "This is Venus's first transit in front of the Sun since quantitative astronomical spectroscopy was invented so it's our first chance to use the technology to observe close up the transit of a planet with an atmosphere."
Once again researchers and explorers alike will congregate at the best spots on Earth to view the transit. To learn more watch these videos and visit these sites:
1. NASA Transit of Venus
2. Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Transit of Venus