Transit of Venus 2012

Of the visible Conjunction of Venus with the Sun — This sight, which is by far the noblest astronomy affords...

—Edmund Halley (1691), on the transit of Venus


A Transit of Venus (ToV), one of the rarest of solar-system events, will be visible on 2012 June 5 for observers in Canada. This is an opportunity to view a phenomenon that won’t recur for more than a century, to connect with other observers across the globe, to delve into its vivid history to enrich your experience, and to use techniques similar to those used by contemporary exoplanet hunters in the current and future quest for new worlds.

We welcome you to the RASC’s transit of Venus website, and invite you to explore the resources on observing the transit:

General Orientation:

Dr. Roy Bishop gives a succinct introduction to various aspects of the ToV. His introduction is supplemented by the ToV Overview.

Local Circumstances and Observing:

Mr. Eclipse Guy (NASA’s Fred Espenak) explains when and where to see the ToV.

Weather Prospects:

Jay Anderson, the RASC’s world-famous expert on eclipse weather prospects, provides data on observing sites to help you chose your observing site.

Eye Safety:

Dr. Ralph Chou, the world’s foremost expert on eclipse viewing safety, gives the DOs and DON'Ts for a safe and enjoyable experience of the ToV.

Image Gallery:

The ToV image gallery offers enticing visual imagery (with commentary) chronicling the “Canadian” experience of past transits.

The Canadian Experience:

You can explore the cultural resonance of the transits on the transit history page, with RASC Historian Peter Broughton as your guide.


Specifically Canadian contributions to world-class exoplanet research are set out in the Dunlap Institute-FAAQ-RASC transit brochure by Dr. Mike Reid, along with other essential information. It is available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese (thanks to Rémi Lacasse for the French, Linda Strubbe & Maria Montero-Castano for the Spanish, Alice Chow & Jeffrey Fung for the Chinese, Mariangela Bonavita for the Italian, Slavek Rucinski for the Polish, Daniela Gonçalves for the Portuguese, and Quang Ngyuen Luong for the Vietnamese versions).


Our ToV resources page and our ToV Journal page lists books, articles, and other online resources for discovering more about the ToV, and our ToV events page gives details on ToV related events in Canada.


Thank you for visiting our ToV site! Remember to mark 2012 June 5 on your calendar!  

transit-canada.gifFor local information on RASC sponsored ToV events, contact your local RASC Centre.

For further information about any aspect of the ToV, please use our ToV contact form.

transit-canada.gifRAR_transit_of_Venus_ca_1700.mp3 (2:31)

Ever wondered about transit of Venus themed music from before John Philip Sousa's Transit of Venus March of 1883? There's some evidence that if there was transit of Venus themed music from the 17th-18th century, it might have been part of the improvisatory musical culture of the time. Wonder what that would sound like? The RASC Archivist has created an example based on the bass pattern of a dance from John Blow's Venus and Adonis (1683). He plays it here on a type of instrument which would have been familiar to Edmund Halley.

Last modified: 
Sunday, January 7, 2018 - 1:17pm