Feeds

Shy Venus in rare Sun crossing next month

Last chance to see until 2117 has exoplanet-spotters excited

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Venus will pass across the face of the Sun just four weeks, the last chance for more than a century to observe our nearest planetary neighbour crossing our star’s fiery surface.

Known as a “transit of Venus” the event will take place on June 5th and 6th. The last transit took place in 2004, but the next is not due until 2117.

This transit will be visible to most Reg readers, with its early moments appearing in the North American sky and the conclusion visible to Europe. Vulture Central APAC, The Reg’s new Sydney eyrie, will get the best view of the full event. A terrific map showing just who gets to see what, and when, is available here.

As is the case with solar eclipses, you’ll do your eyes in staring at the Sun during the transit. Numerous webcasts will therefore be available to spare your, or you can tool up with special glasses like these from Astronomers Without Borders. Inevitably, there’s also an app for this, on iOS and Android.

This year’s transit will be of special interest to exoplanet spotters, as one of their favourite ways to find far-off planets is to measure the brightness of stars. Transits dim a star’s output just enough to suggest planets’ presence in a remote star system. The chance to observe a transit at such close cosmic quarters is therefore eagerly anticipated as a likely source of data that will help refine this method of planet-spotting.

Transits are also much-anticipated due to their historical significance. The voyage on which Captain James Cook’s mapped Australia and New Zealand had, as its first mission, observation of a transit from Tahiti. Both nations therefore attribute their eventual colonisation, in part, to transits. Sir Edmund Halley, of the eponymous comet, used the 1676 transit to accurately measure the distance between the Earth and the Sun. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.