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June 5, 2012

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Clouds may spoil Venus transit

THE Transit of Venus, an eagerly awaited astronomical phenomenon, may be hidden from view tomorrow because of the weather.

The forecast is for cloud and rain which will mean that Shanghai's astronomy fans could miss their chance to witness the rare event in its entirety as the next transit is not due until 2117.

During the event, Venus will appear as a black spot moving across the face of the Sun, as Venus, the Sun and the Earth are aligned and Venus passes directly between the Sun and the Earth.

The six-hour event, beginning at 6:11am and lasting until 12:48pm was expected to be visible to the naked eye and experts were urging watchers to take the same precautions as they would while observing a solar eclipse.

The last transit of Venus was on June 8, 2004 but only half of it could be seen from the city because it took place during sunset.

The Shanghai Astronomical Observatory is broadcasting the event on its website,


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