Transit of Venus

When Venus passes directly between earth and the sun we see the distant planet as a small dot gliding slowly across the face of the sun.

The Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical event, occuring in pairs of eight years apart at intervals of between 105 and 120 years apart. The transit of June 6, 2012 was the second of this pair, another transit will not occur until 2117.

Previous transits were used to try to measure the size of the solar system, while this time the event provided a symbolic opportunity to mark the 1769 meeting between Maori and Pakeha on Captain James Cook's voyage, which included the observation of a transit in Tahiti in June 1769.

The expedition paused at Tolaga Bay and it is there that the participants in June's forum viewed the latest transit.

The MacDiarmid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington and the Royal Society of New Zealand held a forum in association with the Transit of Venus in Gisborne 5 - 8 June 2012.

Transit of Venus Forum Programme