Astronomers and star-gazers across the ITV Meridian region were up early this morning for an event none of them will live to see again.
The Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event that happens when Venus travels across the face of the sun.
Transits occur in pairs eight years apart. There are two in December that repeat every 121 years and 6 months, and two in June that repeat every 105 years and 6 months. The first in this pairing was eight years ago in 2004.
The next transit is in December 2117. The importance of the Transit of Venus was made clear by Britain’s astronomer royal, Edmund Halley – he of the Comet fame.
In 1716 he called on the nations of the world to combine their astronomical talent and view the transit from locations around the world. Halley had worked out that timing the transit from different locations would make it possible to calculate the distance of the Earth from the sun and so work out the dimensions of the Solar System, all using simple trigonometry. Halley made his prediction 50 years before the next transit and died before it took place.
Astronomers and sailors were dispatched around the globe – include Captain James Cook to Tahiti. The plan was a success and the distance was calculated as being between 93 and 97 million miles, not far off the actual distance of 92.96 million miles.
And here they are....your pictures.