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Transit of Venus, a celestial treat for sky gazers

A combo picture showing Venus transiting the Sun, as witnessed from New Delhi on Wednesday.

NEW DELHI (PTI): A rare celestial spectacle -- Transit of Venus -- the last for this century, unfolded in the morning sky all across the country on Wednesday, enthralling the astro enthusiasts.

Scientists and amateur astronomers alike celebrated the arrival of the Transit of Venus, peering up to the skies to watch a dark black spot slide over the surface of the Sun.

The awesome spectacle was visible all over the country, including the national capital. However, a cloudy sky restricted its visibility from Delhi and some other parts of northern India.

"This was the century's last Venus Transit," Nehru Planetarium Director N Rathnasree told PTI.

The event was visible at around 7 am, she said.

Large projectors, pin hole cameras and telescopes were set up to help people see the celestial event unfold at the Planetarium, where a large number of people had gathered to see the rare event.

"It is exciting to see such an event," said a Class X student Soumaya.

"It is too good to resist. It is awesome," Nisha Gupta, a school teacher said, who had earlier seen the 2004 spectacle also.

"The next Venus transit will happen after 105.5 years in 2117, making this a lifetime's event," Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Director C B Devgun said.

From the Earth, this phenomenon is seen when the Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth. It occurs in intervals of 8, 121, 8 and 105 years, Devgun said.

"The phenomenon should be seen only through solar filters, special solar glasses or with the help of pin hole cameras," Secretary of Planetary Society of India N Sri Raghunandan Kumar said.

The last Transit of Venus occurred on June 8, 2004 and was visible across India.


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