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Encyclopedia > Astronomical transit
2003 Transit of Mercury
2003 Transit of Mercury

The term transit or astronomical transit has two meanings in astronomy: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x440, 27 KB) Image of May 7, 2003 Mercury Transit was taken by NASA/ESAs SOHO (Solar & Heliospheric Observatory) and posted to http://soho. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1024x440, 27 KB) Image of May 7, 2003 Mercury Transit was taken by NASA/ESAs SOHO (Solar & Heliospheric Observatory) and posted to http://soho. ...

  • A transit is the astronomical event that occurs when one celestial body appears to move across the face of another celestial body, as seen by an observer at some particular vantage point.
  • A transit occurs when a celestial body crosses the meridian due to the Earth's rotation, about halfway between rising and setting. For instance, the Sun transits the meridian at solar noon. Observation of meridian transits was once very important for timekeeping purposes.

The rest of this article refers to the first kind of transit. A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy is the science of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as auroras and cosmic background radiation). ... See lists of astronomical objects for a list of the various lists of astronomical objects in Wikipedia. ... This article is about the astronomical concept. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Noon is the time exactly halfway through the day, written 12:00 in the 24-hour clock and 12:00 noon in the 12-hour clock. ...

Contents

Definition

The word "transit" refers to cases where the nearer object appears considerably smaller in apparent size than the more distant object. Cases where the nearer object appears larger and completely hides the more distant object are known as occultations. Cases where one object moves into the shadow of another are known as eclipses. Each of these three terms are the visible effects of a syzygy. In this July, 1997 still frame captured from video, the bright star Aldebaran has just reappeared on the dark limb of the waning crescent moon in this predawn occultation. ... Total eclipse redirects here. ... Look up Syzygy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


One example of a transit involves the motion of a planet between a terrestrial observer and the Sun. This can happen only with inferior planets, namely Mercury and Venus (see transit of Mercury and transit of Venus). However, as seen from outer planets such as Mars, the Earth itself transits the Sun on occasion. The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... The terms inferior planet and superior planet were coined by Copernicus to distinguish a planets orbits size in relation to the Earths. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... Transit of Mercury (time lapse showing entire event) Transit of Mercury 11-8-06 - Photographed by Eric S. Kounce of the West Texas Astronomers (www. ... The 2004 transit of Venus A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, obscuring a small portion of the Suns disc. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Earth and Moon transiting the Sun in 2084, as seen from Mars Earth and Moon from Mars, as imaged by Mars Global Surveyor A transit of Earth across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when the planet Earth passes directly between the Sun and Mars, obscuring a small...

Io transits across Jupiter as seen by Cassini spacecraft
Io transits across Jupiter as seen by Cassini spacecraft
Dione transits Titan, as seen by the Cassini probe; in the background, little Prometheus is occulted by the rings of Saturn
Dione transits Titan, as seen by the Cassini probe; in the background, little Prometheus is occulted by the rings of Saturn

The term can also be used to describe the motion of a satellite across its parent planet, for instance one of the Galilean satellites (Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto) across Jupiter, as seen from Earth. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona A transit of Io across Jupiter. ... NASA/JPL/University of Arizona A transit of Io across Jupiter. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure trace Sulfur dioxide 90% Io (eye-oe, IPA: , Greek Ῑώ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. ... Adjectives: Jovian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 20–200 kPa[4] (cloud layer) Composition: ~86% H2 ~13% Helium 0. ... Cassini-Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI unmanned space mission intended to study Saturn and its moons. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 600 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1024 × 1024 pixel, file size: 33 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Dione transits Titan by the rings of Saturn. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 600 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1024 × 1024 pixel, file size: 33 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)Dione transits Titan by the rings of Saturn. ... Atmosphere none Dione (dye-oe-nee, Greek Διώνη) is a moon of Saturn discovered by Giovanni Cassini in 1684. ... Titan (, from Ancient Greek Τῑτάν) or Saturn VI is the largest moon of Saturn and the second largest moon in the solar system,[4] after Jupiters moon Ganymede. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Prometheus (proe-mee-thee-us, Greek Προμηθέας) is a moon of Saturn. ... In this July, 1997 still frame captured from video, the bright star Aldebaran has just reappeared on the dark limb of the waning crescent moon in this predawn occultation. ... The full set of rings The rings of Saturn are a series of planetary rings that orbit the planet Saturn. ... Moons of the Solar System scaled to Earths Moon A natural satellite is an object that orbits a planet or other body larger than itself and which is not man-made. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure trace Sulfur dioxide 90% Io (eye-oe, IPA: , Greek Ῑώ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 1 µPa Oxygen 100% Europa (ew-roe-pÉ™, IPA:  ; Greek Ευρώπη) is a moon of the planet Jupiter. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Adjectives: Jovian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 20–200 kPa[4] (cloud layer) Composition: ~86% H2 ~13% Helium 0. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ...


A transit requires three bodies to be lined up in a single line. More rare are cases where four bodies are lined up. One such case occurred on March 21, 1894 at around 23:00 UTC, when Mercury transited the Sun as seen from Venus, and Mercury and Venus both simultaneously transited the Sun as seen from Saturn (see Transit of Mercury from Saturn and Transit of Venus from Saturn). March 21 is the 80th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (81st in leap years). ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Venus takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Venus, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Venus. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... A transit of Venus across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ...


In recent years the discovery of extrasolar planets has excited interest in the possibility of detecting their transits across their own stellar primaries. HD 209458b is the first such transiting planet to be discovered. An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet beyond the Solar System. ... This article is about the astronomical object. ... HD 209458b is an extrasolar planet that orbits the Sun-like star HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light years from Earths solar system. ...


Mutual planetary transits and occultations

In rare cases, one planet can transit in front of another. The next time this will happen (as seen from Earth) will be on November 22, 2065 at about 12:43 UTC, when Venus near superior conjunction (with an angular diameter of 10.6") will transit in front of Jupiter (with an angular diameter of 30.9"); however, this will take place only 8° west of the Sun, and will therefore not be visible to the unaided/unprotected eye. When the nearer object has a larger angular diameter than the farther object, thus covering it completely, the event is not a transit but an occultation. Before transiting Jupiter, Venus will occult Jupiter's moon Ganymede at around 11:24 UTC as seen from some southernmost parts of Earth. Parallax will cause actual observed times to vary by a few minutes, depending on the precise location of the observer. November 22 is the 326th day (327th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... (Redirected from 2065) Millennia: 2nd millennium - 3rd millennium - 4th millennium Centuries: 20th century - 21st century - 22nd century Decades: 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s 2050s - 2060s - 2070s 2080s 2090s Years: 2060 2061 2062 2063 2064 2065 2066 2067 2068 2069 The Decade as a Whole This decade is expected to be called... Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is a high-precision atomic time standard. ... Conjunction is a term used in positional astronomy and astrology. ... The angular diameter of an object as seen from a given position is the diameter measured as an angle. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 70 kPa Hydrogen ~86% Helium ~14% Methane 0. ... The angular diameter of an object as seen from a given position is the diameter measured as an angle. ... In this July, 1997 still frame captured from video, the bright star Aldebaran has just reappeared on the dark limb of the waning crescent moon in this predawn occultation. ... Moons of the Solar System scaled to Earths Moon A natural satellite is an object that orbits a planet or other body larger than itself and which is not man-made. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


There are only 18 mutual planetary transits and occultations as seen from Earth between 1700 and 2200. Note the long break of events between 1818 and 2065.

A simulation of Venus transiting Jupiter, as it did on January 3, 1818.
A simulation of Venus transiting Jupiter, as it did on January 3, 1818.

The 1737 event was observed by John Bevis at Greenwich Observatory - it is the only detailed account of a mutual planetary occultation. A transit of Mars across Jupiter on 12 Sep 1170 was observed by the monk Gervase at Canterbury, and by Chinese astronomers. September 19 is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years). ... Events March 8 - William III died; Princess Anne Stuart becomes Queen Anne of England, Scotland and Ireland. ... July 20 is the 201st day (202nd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 164 days remaining. ... // Events Construction begins on Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England. ... July 14 is the 195th day (196th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 170 days remaining. ... // Events March 23 - James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth July 1 - Tewoflos becomes Emperor of Ethiopia September 28 - Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya Kandahar conquered by Mir Wais In Masuria one third of the population die during the plague J... Illustration created using Starry Night Pro software. ... Illustration created using Starry Night Pro software. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 70 kPa Hydrogen ~86% Helium ~14% Methane 0. ... October 4 is the 277th day of the year (278th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... // Events March 23 - James Francis Edward Stuart lands at the Firth of Forth July 1 - Tewoflos becomes Emperor of Ethiopia September 28 - Peter the Great defeats the Swedes at the Battle of Lesnaya Kandahar conquered by Mir Wais In Masuria one third of the population die during the plague J... May 28 is the 148th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (149th in leap years). ... Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... August 29 is the 241st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (242nd in leap years), with 124 days remaining. ... 1771 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... July 21 is the 202nd day (203rd in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 163 days remaining. ... 1793 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... December 9 is the 343rd day (344th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1808 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... January 3 is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... November 22 is the 326th day (327th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... (Redirected from 2065) Millennia: 2nd millennium - 3rd millennium - 4th millennium Centuries: 20th century - 21st century - 22nd century Decades: 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s 2050s - 2060s - 2070s 2080s 2090s Years: 2060 2061 2062 2063 2064 2065 2066 2067 2068 2069 The Decade as a Whole This decade is expected to be called... July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... (Redirected from 2067) Millennia: 2nd millennium - 3rd millennium - 4th millennium Centuries: 20th century - 21st century - 22nd century Decades: 2010s 2020s 2030s 2040s 2050s - 2060s - 2070s 2080s 2090s Years: 2060 2061 2062 2063 2064 2065 2066 2067 2068 2069 The Decade as a Whole This decade is expected to be called... August 11 is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... (Redirected from 2079) (20th century - 21st century - 22nd century - other centuries) Definition In calendars based on the Christian Era or Common Era, such as the Gregorian calendar, the 21st century is the current century, as of this writing, lasting from 2000-2099. ... October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. ... (Redirected from 2088) (20th century - 21st century - 22nd century - other centuries) Definition In calendars based on the Christian Era or Common Era, such as the Gregorian calendar, the 21st century is the current century, as of this writing, lasting from 2000-2099. ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... (Redirected from 2094) (20th century - 21st century - 22nd century - other centuries) Definition In calendars based on the Christian Era or Common Era, such as the Gregorian calendar, the 21st century is the current century, as of this writing, lasting from 2000-2099. ... August 21 is the 233rd day of the year (234th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... (Redirected from 2104) (21st century - 22nd century - 23rd century - other centuries) The twenty-second century comprises the years 2101 to 2200. ... September 14 is the 257th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (258th in leap years). ... Events 14 September - Venus transit of Jupiter. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... Events October 16 - Total eclipse of Sun visible in Scandinavia Categories: Stub | Years in the future ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... (Redirected from 2133) (21st century - 22nd century - 23rd century - other centuries) The twenty-second century comprises the years 2101 to 2200. ... Events 12 February — The San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is inaugurated. ... John Bevis (October 31, 1693 – November 6, 1771) was an English doctor and astronomer. ... Royal Observatory, Greenwich The original site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory (RGO), which was built as a workplace for the Astronomer Royal, was on a hill in Greenwich Park in Greenwich, London, overlooking the River Thames. ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... Events December 29: Assassination of Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury cathedral City of Dublin captured by the Normans According to folklore, the Welsh prince Madoc sailed to North America and founded a colony. ... Canterbury is a cathedral city in east Kent in South East England and is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of All England, head of the Church of England and of the worldwide Anglican Communion. ...

November 29 is the 333rd (in leap years the 334th) day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2022 (MMXXII) will be a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contacts

During a transit there are four "contacts", when the circumference of the small circle (small body disk) touches the circumference of the large circle (large body disk) at a single point. The contacts happen in the following order: The circumference is the distance around a closed curve. ...

  • First contact: the smaller body is entirely outside the larger body, moving inward
  • Second contact: the smaller body is entirely inside the larger body, moving further inward
  • Third contact: the smaller body is entirely inside the larger body, moving outward
  • Fourth contact: the smaller body is entirely outside the larger body, moving outward

Transit visibility table

Transit visibility from planets superior to the transiting body
Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune
Mercury Mercury Mercury Mercury Mercury Mercury Mercury
  Venus Venus Venus Venus Venus Venus
    Earth Earth Earth Earth Earth
      Mars Mars Mars Mars
        Jupiter Jupiter Jupiter
          Saturn Saturn
            Uranus

The terms inferior planet and superior planet were coined by Copernicus to distinguish a planets orbits size in relation to the Earths. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Venus takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Venus, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Venus. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun takes place when the planet Mercury comes between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Mars, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Mars. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Jupiter. ... A transit of Mercury across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Mercury passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... The 2004 transit of Venus A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and the Earth, obscuring a small portion of the Suns disc. ... A transit of Venus across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Mars, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Mars. ... A transit of Venus across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Jupiter. ... A transit of Venus across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... Earth and Moon transiting the Sun in 2084, as seen from Mars Earth and Moon from Mars, as imaged by Mars Global Surveyor A transit of Earth across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when the planet Earth passes directly between the Sun and Mars, obscuring a small... A transit of Earth across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Earth passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Jupiter. ... A transit of Earth across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Earth passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... A transit of Mars across the Sun as seen from Jupiter takes place when the planet Mars passes directly between the Sun and Jupiter, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Jupiter. ... A transit of Mars across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Mars passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on Saturn. ... A transit of Jupiter across the Sun as seen from an outer planet (Saturn, Uranus or Neptune) takes place when the planet Jupiter passes directly between the Sun and the outer planet, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on the outer planet. ... A transit of Jupiter across the Sun as seen from an outer planet (Saturn, Uranus or Neptune) takes place when the planet Jupiter passes directly between the Sun and the outer planet, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on the outer planet. ... A transit of Jupiter across the Sun as seen from an outer planet (Saturn, Uranus or Neptune) takes place when the planet Jupiter passes directly between the Sun and the outer planet, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on the outer planet. ... A transit of Saturn across the Sun as seen from an outer planet (Uranus or Neptune) takes place when the planet Saturn passes directly between the Sun and the outer planet, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on the outer planet. ... A transit of Saturn across the Sun as seen from an outer planet (Uranus or Neptune) takes place when the planet Saturn passes directly between the Sun and the outer planet, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc for an observer on the outer planet. ...

See also

For transit of planets in front of others, see also occultation. A transit of a minor planet across the Sun takes place when the minor planet passes directly between the Sun and the observer, obscuring a small part of the Suns disc. ... The Transit of Vulcan, a supposed passage of an unknown object before the sun, observed in the 18th and 19th centuries, believed to be of volcanic origin. ... Phobos transits the Sun, as seen by Mars Rover Opportunity on March 10, 2004 A transit of Phobos across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when Phobos passes directly between the Sun and a point on the surface of Mars, obscuring a large part of the Suns... Deimos transits the Sun, as seen by Mars Rover Opportunity on March 4, 2004 A transit of Deimos across the Sun as seen from Mars takes place when Deimos passes directly between the Sun and a point on the surface of Mars, obscuring a small part of the Suns... The Kepler Mission is a space observatory being developed by NASA that will search for extrasolar planets and will only be the second space-based telescope particularly constructed for that task, the first one being COROT. For this purpose, it will observe the brightness of about 100,000 stars over... In this July, 1997 still frame captured from video, the bright star Aldebaran has just reappeared on the dark limb of the waning crescent moon in this predawn occultation. ...


External references

  • Meeus, Jean: Transits. Richmond, Virginia: Willmann-Bell, Inc., 1989, ISBN 0-943396-25-5.
  • Meeus, Jean: Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets. Richmond, Virginia: Willmann-Bell, Inc., 1995, ISBN 0-943396-45-X.

 
 

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