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Blog Photo of the Day

Today's #WatermanBlog Photo of the Day features two images capturing the Venus transits of 2004 and 2012 photographed by John Connors. The transit of a planet occurs when that planet passes between the sun and another planet and only partially blocks the sun. Here on Earth, this can only occur with Mercury and Venus crossing the sun's surface. These are the only two planets whose orbital path is closer to the sun than our own. We had the great fortune for a Venus transit to occur within our lifetime and twice in one decade, June of 2004 and 2012. Occurring in pairs and less frequently than once a century, the next Venus transit will not be witnessed again on earth until 2117 and 2125.

On June 5th 2012 it was supposed to rain all day, and it nearly did. Finally, about 20 minutes into the Venus transit the clouds broke and the sun shone through. During that brief, 30 minute window, John Connors and his daughter recreated a very rare and special moment from eight years previous. John set up his telescope to project the sun with Venus visible as a tiny spot on its surface in exactly the same way he had done it in 2004. In both images he has included his daughter Heather's profile, the first at age 12 and again, in 2012, at age 20.

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