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Transit of Venus. Composite computer artwork of Venus (black dot) crossing the face of the Sun on 8th June 2004. This event is known as a transit, and this is the first time it has occurred since 1882. Venus is an Earth-sized planet that orbits in between Earth and the Sun. It does not appear to cross the Sun's disc during every orbit as the orbital paths of the Earth and Venus are not in exactly the same plane. The first transit of Venus was observed on 4th December 1639. In history, the transits were used to measure the size of the Solar System. Venus orbits the Sun at a distance of some 108 million kilometres, just over two- thirds of the Earth-Sun distance.
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