Earthlings have always been fascinated by the two closest space neighbours - Mars and Venus.

2004 year has brought two important events - discovery of water on Mars and Venus Transit. Water on Mars was found by two rovers Spirit and Opportunity that were given their names by American students. A lot of European students took part then in the Venus Transit observation.

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Observation history

  • 1520
    Montezuma might have spotted the Transit while auguring from the Sun (the chief god Quetzalcoatl was associated with Venus)
  • 1631
    Johannes Kepler, court astronomer of Emperor Rudolph II. and Albrecht Wallenstein predicted the Transit but it occurred during the night time in Europe
  • 1639
    "The Founder of English Astronomy" Jeremiah Horrocks missed the entrance of Venus because of a "business of the highest importance" but was the first on record to watch the Transit together with his friend William Crabtree
  • 1761
    Several (117) expeditions followed Sir Edmund Halley's advice (1716) to determine the distance of the Sun from the Earth, among them for example Dixon&Mason in Good Hope Cape, Jesuit Maximilian Hell in Vienna, or Le Gentil in India (with no success)
  • 1769
    even more expeditions, among them James Cook on Tahiti (successful), Maximilian Hell in Vardo, Norway or Le Gentil in India (who had been waiting there for eight years but result was the same as eight years earlier)
  • 1874
    tens of expeditions all over the world including the American ones in Japan, China and Tasmania
  • 1882
    hundreds of pictures of the Transit
  • 2004
    thousands of amateur observers worldwide
  • 2012, 2117, 2125, 2247, 2255
    we wish good luck to you and your grandchildren and great-grandchildren

You will have to wait for the next Venus Transit: