Hong Kong to witness rare Transit of Venus

Residents in Hong Kong can have a glimpse of the Transit of Venus cross the Sun, a once-in-a century rare astronomic phenomenon, in June if the weather permits, the Hong Kong Observatory said on Wednesday.

According to the observatory, the Transit of Venus will occur on June 6 and the partial lunar eclipse will occur on June 4.

Transit of Venus is a rare astronomical phenomenon. It comes in pairs eight years apart, with successive pairs separated by over 100 years.

“This Transit of Venus will be the second one in a pair, with the first one having occurred on June 8, 2004. After this one, there will be no transit of Venus in the next 100 years,” Scientific Officer of the Hong Kong Observatory Woo Wang-chun said.

During the transit, Venus will pass directly between the sun and the Earth. The silhouette of Venus, appearing as a dark dot, will move across the sun’s disc.

Woo said this transit will occur between 6:12 am and 12:49 pm, lasting six hours and 37 minutes. The entire process can be observed in Hong Kong.

The observatory reminded the public that as is the case when observing a solar eclipse, members of the public should never look directly at the sun with naked eyes or through a telescope in order to avoid severe damage to their eyes. A safer method is to project the sun’s image through a pinhole or a telescope onto a piece of white paper or cardboard and view the projected image.

As for the partial lunar eclipse on June 4, Woo said, “by the time the moon rises that evening, the eclipse will have started. The middle of eclipse will occur soon after the moonrise, and will be visible in Hong Kong along with the remaining parts of the lunar eclipse.”

The next lunar eclipse potentially observable in Hong Kong will occur on Nov. 28 this year.

Xinhua