Transit de Vénus devant le soleil, on ne parle pas d'éclipse
Le 6 juin 2012

Astronomers around the world looked to the sky last night and this morning to observe Venus as it passed across the face of the Sun for the last time this century. ESA’s Sun-watching space missions also tuned in for the solar spectacular.

ESA’s microsatellite Proba-2, situated in low-Earth orbit, tracked Venus as it moved across the solar disc over a period of nearly seven hours. Venus appears to wobble thanks to the slight up-down motion of Proba-2 and the large distance between the satellite and the Sun.

Transit of Venus as seen from Svalbard
Of particular interest was the moment of first contact – when Venus first appeared to touch the limb of the solar disc – resulting in a tiny dip in solar brightness. The dip associated with Venus’ thick atmosphere, even before Venus had fully entered the solar disc, will help exoplanet scientists study the atmospheres of rocky Earth-sized planets outside of our Solar System.

Another phenomenon observed during the transit included the ‘black drop’ effect – the small black teardrop shape that appears to connect Venus to the limb of the Sun just after it has fully entered the solar disc and again later, when it begins to leave the disc.

Voir la vidéo ci-dessous



Transit of Venus as seen from Canberra, Australia Credits: Michel Breitfellner and Miguel Perez Ayucar/ESAC
Vidéo enregistrée par le petit satellite "Proba2"
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