Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos!Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 June 13

A Venus Transit Over the Baltic Sea  

Image Credit & Copyright: Jens Hackmann  

Explanation: Waiting years and traveling kilometers — all to get a shot like this. And even with all of this planning, a good bit of luck was helpful. As the Sun rose over the  Baltic Sea last Wednesday as seen from  Fehmarn Island in northern  Germany, photographer  Jens Hackmann was ready for the very unusual black dot of Venus to appear superimposed. Less expected were the textures of clouds and haze that  would tint different levels of the Sun various shades of  red.  And possibly the luckiest gift of all was a flicker of a rare  green flash at the very top of the Sun. The above image is, of course, just one of  many spectacular pictures taken last week of the last  transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun for the next 105 years.