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Venus transits sun Tuesday

June 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, June 1 (UPI) -- The silhouette created as Venus transits the face of the sun Tuesday will be widely visible across seven continents, U.S. space officials said.

Even a sliver of Antarctica will be in position to see it, NASA said.

The transit, which will take nearly 7 hours, begins at 6:09 p.m. EDT on June 5, with the best viewing in the mid-Pacific, where the sun will be high overhead during crossing. The best view in the United States will be around Sunset.

NASA warns viewers not to stare at the sun, but instead use a projection technique or solar filter.

The last time Venus made the transit was in 2004, when modern solar telescopes captured an "unprecedented view" of the planet's atmosphere backlit by solar fire. NASA said pictures of the 2012 transit will be even better due to improvements in cameras and solar telescopes.

Venus will next transit the sun in 2117 and 2125.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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