Meet ESA, the space agency for Europe

You, together with your 500 million fellow citizens from ESA's 20 European member nations, are the collective owners of one of the world's leading space agencies. The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organisation, a cooperative coming together of its Member States in their national interest and common good. This new video offers a quick introduction: Europe, meet ESA.

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Transiting the midnight sun

Watch nearly seven hours of transit time in less than twenty seconds! This time lapse movie from ESA TV shows the transit of Venus as experienced under the midnight sun, 78 degrees north from the Arctic island of Svalbard. Interference from cloud gives an eerie feel to the scene.

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Our last transit of Venus, the movie

The anticipation and excitement of watching the transit of Venus under the midnight Sun in the high northern latitudes of Svalbard is portrayed nicely in this short film by Lightcurve Films, in association with the European Planetology Network. Lightcurve Films produced six short films about the transit, four of which were shot on location in Svalbard earlier this week. Watch all six here:


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Hinode’s view of the transit

The international Sun-watching spacecraft Hinode caught this stunning view of Venus entering the solar disc on 5-6 June. More Hinode transit images are available here.

Credits: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin.

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Transit of Venus 2012 in pictures

The Transit of Venus wowed sky watchers worldwide. Enjoy this slideshow with impressions from all over the world:

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Transit of Venus observed from the ISS

The resident Expedition 31 crew took advantage of their guaranteed cloudless vantage point on board the International Space Station to observe the overnight transit of Venus across the Sun.

Of course you should never look directly at the Sun and anticipating this celestial conjunction, Flight Engineer Don Pettit had the foresight to take a solar filter with him to the ISS.

This morning André Kuipers shared the photograph below of Venus passing in front of the Sun along with the tweet: “With our orbit along the border between night and day at the moment, we could often see the Venus transit for long periods of time.”

This is the first time the Venus transit has been observed from space. The last opportunity occured in 2004 but the crew did not see the transit, mainly because they had no solar filters on board. The next Venus transit won’t occur until 2117.

Venus transit seen from ISS (Credit: ESA/NASA)

More photos of the Venus transit by Don Pettit are available on Flickr:

Read more about observations of the Venus transit in the ESA blog:


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Venus transit seen from Canberra, Australia

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Almost the whole Venus transit could be captured despite of some clouds did get into the way of those observing the transit of Venus in Canberra, Australia.
Credit: ESA - M. Castillo, M. Sanchez Portal, S. Martinez.

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Venus Transit seen from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

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Cloudy weather did impact on the Venus transit observations at Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Still most of the Venus transit could be captured.
Credit: ESA - M. Breitfellner, M. Perez, S. Martinez.

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The transit from Budapest

The transit from Budapest. Credits: ESA - O. Witasse

Some of our Mars Express colleagues holding a meeting in Budapest this week were treated to clear skies for the transit during sunrise. Here are some views of their experience.

Enjoying sunny skies in Budapest. Credits: ESA - O.Witasse

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Venus solar transit 2012 – Transit observers

Venus transit observation teams at Longyearbyen prepare their telescopes to
observe the transit of Venus. Impressions of the the different teams while
they observe the transit. Longyearbyen is one of the few places in Europe
where the whole 2012 transit of Venus was visible.

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