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Venus will turn into a black dot!

Source: PTI
March 09, 2004 15:16 IST
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On June 8, 2004, in broad daylight, Venus will become a black dot. Though it won't do the disappearing act.

The rare astronomical phenomenon is known as 'Transit of Venus' during which the planet will move across the disc of sun as a 'pinhead-sized black dot'.

Only six of such rarest planetary alignments have taken place since the invention of telescope -- in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874 and 1882, Director of Research and Academics, M P Birla Planetarium, Dr Debiprosad Duari said in Kolkata on Tuesday.

"It will be just like a solar eclipse but instead of the moon being in the line between earth and sun it will be Venus. Not one person alive has ever seen this phenomenon," he said.

The transit will begin at 10:44 am. But Venus will appear as a black dot on the face of the earth at around 11:03 am. The last point of contact between the Venus and sun would be at 4:50 pm. The phenomenon would be visible in Europe, parts of Africa, Middle East and almost the whole of Asia.

"Only a small telescope with solar filter or a projection should be used to see the event and not directly through the naked eye," Duari said.

Although the date coincides with the monsoons in the city, astrophysicists are keeping their fingers crossed.

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