The transit of Venus, from Saturn

Tonight’s transit of Venus may be the last for observers on Earth for the next century, but the Cassini spacecraft will only have to wait a few months.

On 21 December 2012, Saturn, Venus and the Sun will be aligned such that Cassini will be able to see Venus transit the Sun.

The faraway viewpoint in the outer Solar System will present an observing challenge, and Cassini will stare at the transit for a full nine hours to try and detect it.

The data collected will contribute valuable information to exoplanet scientists that are on the hunt for rocky, Earth-sized planets outside of our Solar System.

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