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Thread: Venus passing in front of the sun

  1. #1 Venus passing in front of the sun 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Hi folks,

    Quick question. If you can help, thanks.

    How often does Venus pass in front of the sun?? Like for one of those photos of the sun with the black dot moving across it.

    Also how often does Mercury pass in front of the sun?

    Obviously, what i mean is from the perspective of an Earthbound observer.
    I see the relative angle of inclination against the Earth's ecliptic is 7.01 and 3.39 for Mercury and venus respectively
    Orbital inclination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    which, especially for venus, is quite close to parallel with earth's ecliptic. not sure what math i'd have to do, involving the diameter of the sun and the planets and their relative distances.

    I hazard a guess that venus passes across the sun at least once a year.


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  3. #2  
    Comet Dust Collector Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    New Jersey, USA
    Venus transits occur in pairs 8 years apart, separated by 105.5 and 121.5 years between pairs. The next transits of Venus will be December 10–11, 2117, and in December 2125.

    Mercury transits are more common (since it orbits closer to the sun), and happen about 14 times a century; the next is in 2016.

    From our view the sun is only aboyt 1/2 degree in diameter, so the planet muct be crossing between the earth and the sun within that distance on it's orbit at the right time.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    ok great thanks Mr Wayne, that's just what i was looking for
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