PARIS — Astronomers are gearing for one the rarest events in the Solar System: an alignment of Earth, Venus and the Sun that will not be seen for another 105 years.
The celestial ballet known as the Transit of Venus is one of the most eagerly-awaited events in skywatching, an episode that has advanced the frontiers of knowledge, sometimes with dramatic consequences.
"For centuries, the Transit of Venus has been one of the great moments for astronomers," said Claude Catala, head of the Paris Observatory. "2012 will not be an exception to the rule. It is a one-off opportunity."
"It’s now or never," the British magazine Physics World told its readers.