International Space Station (ISS) astronaut Don Pettit plans to make observations and take photos of the 2012 transit of Venus on June 5-6, 2012 – the last transit of Venus in our lifetimes. NASA says it will be posting the Venus transit photos as soon after the event as possible, and we’ll be posting them here. This great ScienceCast from NASA explains more.
Pettit will be pointing his camera through the side windows of the space station’s cupola, an ESA-built observatory module that provides a wide-angle view of Earth and the cosmos. Its seven windows are used by the crew to operate the station’s robotic arm, coordinate space dockings, and take science-grade photos of the Earth and sky. It’s also a favorite hangout for off-duty astronauts who find the view exhilarating.
Bottom line: ISS astronaut Don Pettit will observe and take photos of the transit of Venus on June 5-6. International Space Station Expedition 31 crew will be the first people ever to see a Venus transit from space. Don Pettit will be the first to photograph one. We’ll be posting the photos here as soon as they’re available.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.