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The orbit of Venus is tilted 3.4 degrees relative to Earth's orbit. The two places where they interesect are called nodes. A transit only happens when the two planets are lined up at a node. ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus June 8, 2004. The planet almost looks like a bit of cloud, but you can find it on the right just below center. (Photo: David Cortner) ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus 2012. Seen from Huntington Beach, California with Boeing 727. (Credit: Jim Nista on Flickr) ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus 2012. A view of the transit across the rising Sun in Italy. (Credit: Niki Giada) ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Will you be able to see the transit of Venus on June 5-6, 2012? This map gives you the lowdown. (Credit: Fred Espenak) ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus 2012. Picture of the transit taken from the Exploratorium live feed. A calcium line solar filter gives it the cool blue color. ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus 2004 (Photo: Dan Bush, Missouri Skies Special Event Photo Galleries) Exoplanet hunters will be studying the 2012 transit as a close-up example of a transit. Studying the light curve of stars may be a clue to a transiting planet. ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Phases of Venus. Venus orbits closer to the Sun than Earth, so like the Moon, it has phases. Here is how Venus has changed from January to May this year. On the day of the transit, it will be "new" and only visible as a black dot crossing the Sun. (Photos: Efrain Morales Rivera) ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Transit of Venus 2004 including Venus and a time lapse of the transiting International Space Station. Very few people would have been able to observe this event and the ISS took no more than a second to pass by. Amazing photo by Tomas Maruska (SAAD). ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Double transit. In this photo by the brilliant astrophotographer Thierry Legaut, you can see Venus in transit on June 6, 2012. But click to enlarge and you can also see that he has caught the Hubble Space Telescope also crossing in front of the Sun. ©Mona Evans, "Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art28229.asp

Saturn was the first planet I saw through a telescope. Here it is with 6 of its 62 known moons. Titan, discovered in 1655, in lower left is bigger than our moon and even bigger than the planet Mercury.

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