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Chance of a lifetime to see Venus cross paths with sun

It’s only happened six times in the whole of human history and next week will be the last time it happens in our lifetime.

On June 6 skywatchers will be able to see Earth’s ‘twin’ planet Venus pass across the face of the sun for the last time until December 2117.

This Transit of Venus, which last occurred in 2004, will be visible across Ireland, but astronomers recommend north-east Antrim as the best place for viewing the phenomenon.

The Irish Astronomical Association (IAA) will run a public viewing session at the car park at the east of Garron Point on the A2 Coast Road, between Carnlough and Glenariff, starting at 4.40 am. The transit will first become visible at 4.47am.

IAA spokesman Terry Mosel said Transits of Venus were very important in the history of astronomy as they were used to determine the distance from the Earth to the sun, and hence the size of the whole solar system. “Now we have other methods to do that, but the events are still fascinating, and their rarity makes them special,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph