Venus transit draws hundreds to roof top viewing
(CNS): Hundreds of people young and old queued around Camana Bay Tuesday evening in order to get a glimpse of the once in a lifetime transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. The viewing event on the rooftop of 62 Forum Lane was organised by the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society (CIAS) and marked its 21st anniversary. Local stargazers were also involved in a worldwide experiment to time the two points when Venus started and finished its journey across the face of the Sun, which took around seven hours.
Most of the 1,000 or so visitors, however, were just happy to get chance to glimpse the rare planetary event and watch Earth’s near neighbour pass the Sun safely with the help of special viewing glasses and telescopes.
The planet was visible in Cayman for around two hours during the early part of its transit until the Sun set around 7pm. Anyone who missed it missed the opportunity of a lifetime as the second planet from the Sun won’t make this journey for another 105 years.
Transits of Venus occur in pairs separated by eight years. Each pair is in turn separated by an alternating interval of 105.5 and 121.5 years, making a cycle of 243 years. The last transit of Venus was in June 2004, when modern instruments gave the best views ever, and the next transit of Venus will not be seen from Earth until 2117.
Astronomers around the world used the latest technology to document the transit and NASA captured some amazing pictures of rare spectacle. A high definition short video can be viewed here.
For more information on Cayman’s own astrological society and how to join contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook.com/ Cayman Islands Astronomical Society.
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