Eyes turn skyward for transiting of Venus

Eyes turn skyward for transiting of Venus

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Eyes turn skyward for transiting of Venus

Many people in various Turkish provinces witnessed the rare Venus transit. REUTERS photo

The planet Venus made a slow transit across the face of the sun on Tuesday, the last such passing that will be visible from Earth for 105 years, Reuters reported.

Transits of Venus happen in pairs, eight years apart, with more than a century between cycles. During Tuesday’s pass, Venus took the form of a small black dot slowly shifting across the northern hemisphere of the sun.

Armchair astronomers watched the six-hour and 40-minute transit on the Internet, with dozens of websites offering live video from around the world. During the transit of Venus, astronomers planned to measure the planet’s thick atmosphere in the hope of developing techniques to measure atmospheres around other planets. Studies of the atmosphere of Venus could also shed light on why Earth and Venus, which are almost exactly the same size and orbit approximately the same distance from the sun, are so different.

Turkey witnessed it, too

In Turkey, locals and tourists in the southern province of Antalya began gathering on the Konyaaltı Beach from the early hours of the night, but did not have a chance to see the sun until 6:20 a.m. because of clouds, Anatolia news agency reported. When the sun appeared, they were able to witness this rare event by wearing special glasses.

The Scientific and Research Councicl of Turkey (TÜBITAK) held a Sky Observation Festivity in the southern province of Burdur’s Gölhisar district to view the transit of Venus. Locals and TÜBITAK National Observatory officials viewed the event through telescopes and special eyeglasses in Kibyra Ancient City between 4:30 and 7:50 a.m.

Another event for the transit of Venus was organized by the Ankara University Observatory in the capital Ankara. The observatory’s website also broadcasted the transit live.

The transit is only the eighth since the invention of the telescope, and the last until Dec. 10-11, 2117.