“…and marvel at the solar system in motion”

Here’s a date to mark in your diary [really? – Ed].  On the 5/6 June this year one of the rarest predictable astronomical events will occur – a transit of Venus[Can’t wait… – Ed]  Since the invention of the greatest human innovation, the telescope, at the beginning of the 17th century, not by Galileo, there have been only 7 such transits.  And, although the last one was in 2004, the next will not happen until 11 December 2117. [I’ll catch it then! – Ed]

Nasa’s Sun-Earth Day website will be providing a live web cast during the 6 hour transit.  And via LittleSDOHMI, here’s a 4min trailer of the event from transitofvenus.org summarizing the history and significance of the transit of Venus while preparing for the June 5-6, 2012, spectacle.  There’s also a mention of transit-hunting in the search for exoplanets.  From TransitVenus on YouTube

And from SunEarthDay on YouTube, part1 of a 6 part series of clips highlighting the history and the science behind the transit and the culture and history of Hawaii.  As you’d expect, one of Those [Royal Society] Guys makes an appearance…

In the meantime, because I can, here’s the wondrous night sky above the ESO Very Large Telescope array [VLT], in Chile.  [Video credit: ESO/S. Guisard (www.eso.org/~sguisard) ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)]

Adds Bah. Despite the ESO footage the earlier video is being claimed by BBC Worldwide. Try this instead, also from NikoBustos. [Video credit: ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)]

Or even this [Video credit: ESO/S. Guisard (www.eso.org/~sguisard) ESO/José Francisco Salgado (josefrancisco.org)]