Activities at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands are ramping up for the transit of Venus, visible from sunrise on 6 June for most of Europe.

ESA’s Venus Express project scientist Håkan Svedhem drew a crowd at Friday’s lunchtime lecture to provide a historical overview of Venus transits (you can read more about the history of transits in some our previous blog posts). He also offered tips to observe the event safely and at the end of the presentation gave way “solar shades”, glasses fitted with specialised solar film to enable safe viewing of the Sun.

ESTEC-ers enjoying the transit of Venus in 2004

The Astronomy Club of ESTEC (ACE) will be getting up early on the morning of 6 June to observe the last moments of the transit during sunrise, also offering the chance to keen ESTEC-ers to see the event for themselves using safely equipped telescopes.

Meanwhile, another team from ESTEC will be watching the transit from the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, one of the only places in Europe from which the entire transit is visible, thanks to the ‘midnight sun’.

Keep watching our blog for live updates during the transit from our colleagues at ESTEC and Spitsbergen, and from our friends observing the transit from various locations around the world!