Astronomers and people around the world have trained their telescopes on the skies to watch Venus pass in front of the Sun, a once-in-a-lifetime event that will not be seen for another 105 years. The transit of Venus began shortly after 6pm on Tuesday (8am today AEST) in cloud-free areas of North America, Central America and the northern part of South America, and was visible, with magnification, as a tiny black dot on the solar surface.

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Venus Passes Across the Sun

Venus transits across the sun as seen over Hong Kong. BOBBY YIP/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA image shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA image shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA image shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA image shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Astronomer Samra attempts to get the view of Venus crossing the Sun using a shadow on a piece of paper and the telescope at the MacMillan Southam Observatory in Vancouver. ANDY CLARK/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA image shows the planet Venus at the start of its transit of the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus can be seen on its transit of the Sun, from Beijing. DAVID GRAY/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Venus passes across the sun as seen from Gwacheon, south of Seoul. KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Handout image courtesy of NASA shows the planet Venus transiting the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

South Korean primary school students wearing masks with solar viewers watch Venus passing between the Sun and the Earth at the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Venus passes across the sun as seen in Tottori. KYODO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Handout images courtesy of NASA show various views of the planet Venus transiting the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Handout image courtesy of NASA shows the planet Venus transiting the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus can be seen on its transit of the Sun from New Delhi. ADNAN ABIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

NASA handout image shows the planet Venus transiting the Sun. NASA/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is seen as a black dot as it begins its transit across the sun over Rochester. ADAM FENSTER/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Josh Romney and his wife Amanda Romney watch the planet Venus transits in front of the sun outside Salt Lake City, Utah. JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A helicopter flies past as the planet Venus makes its transit across the sun over Tijuana. STRINGER/MEXICO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes a transit as a person watches the sun set over the Great Salt Lake outside Salt Lake City. JIM URQUHART/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Schoolchildren look at the planet Venus transiting across the sun at Sydney's Observatory. DANIEL MUNOZ/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus transits across the sun as seen through a welding filter in Sydney. DANIEL MUNOZ/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People look at the planet Venus transiting across the sun during sunrise in Vienna. LISI NIESNER/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus transits in front of the sun in Manila. CHERYL RAVELO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A plane flies past the planet Venus as it makes its transit across the sun over Vienna. HEINZ-PETER BADER/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is about to disappear as it ends its transit across the sun over Vienna. HEINZ-PETER BADER/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes its transit across the Sun as seen from Kathmandu. NAVESH CHITRAKAR/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes its transit across a setting sun on the Pacific Ocean in Encinitas, California. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes its transit across a setting sun on the Pacific Ocean in Encinitas, California. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes its transit across the Sun as seen from Kathmandu. NAVESH CHITRAKAR/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Children take turns to look at planet Venus transiting across the sun at a public viewing at the Singapore Science Centre. TIM CHONG/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Planet Venus transits across the sun in Singapore. TIM CHONG/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Planet Venus transits across the sun in Singapore. TIM CHONG/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A man looks at planet Venus transiting across the sun with a solar filter at a public viewing at the Singapore Science Centre. TIM CHONG/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is seen as a black dot as it makes its transit across the sun over Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People look at the planet Venus transiting across the sun over Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People look at the planet Venus transiting across the sun during sunrise over Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

South Korean primary school students are silhouetted as they watch Venus passing between the Sun and the Earth at the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Gwacheon. KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Venus passes across the sun as seen from Gwacheon. KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Filipino students use negative film strips to watch Venus passing between the Sun and the Earth in Silang, Cavite. ERIK DE CASTRO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is seen through a special solar filter as a black dot while it transits across the sun in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus passes across the sun as seen over Sofia. STOYAN NENOV/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A plane flies under a thin layer cloud crossing the sun as Venus (R) moves past the sun are seen through a coelostat at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Russian astronomy fans listen to the explanations of a Moscow Planetarium staff member during an early morning session to view the transit of the planet Venus over Moscow. DENIS SINYAKOV/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A helicopter flies past as the planet Venus makes its transit across the sun over Tijuana. STRINGER/MEXICO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus transits the Sun as seen from Beijing. DAVID GRAY/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is seen through a special solar filter as a black dot as it transits across the sun next to the cross of the cathedral in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus is seen through a special solar filter as a black dot as it transits across the sun in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Planet Venus is seen as a black dot on a man's hand as it makes its transit across the sun, in Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A combination photo shows the images of the planet Venus, seen through a special solar filter, as a black dot during its transit across the sun in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People wait to watch the planet Venus transit across the sun at the Wilhelm-Foerster astronomical observatory in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A combination photo shows the images of the planet Venus, seen through a special solar filter, as a black dot during its transit across the sun in Berlin. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Planet Venus is seen as a black dot projected onto a girl's forehead as it makes its transit across the sun, in Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A jet plane crosses the sky as Venus moves past the sun are seen through a coelostat at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Women use eclipse glasses to watch the planet Venus transiting across the sun, in Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Hector Vazquez uses his homemade telescope to watch Venus moving past the sun at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People use eclipse glasses to watch the planet Venus transiting across the sun, at the eastern Gulf coast town of Qatif. STRINGER/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The planet Venus makes its transit across the Sun as seen as seen from Beirut. JAMAL SAIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People look through telescopes as Venus moves past the sun at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

A bird stands on the Martyrs' Statue as the planet Venus makes its transit across the Sun as seen from Beirut. JAMAL SAIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Students use a welding mask and eclipse glasses to watch Venus passing between the Sun and the Earth in Luneta park in Manila. ROMEO RANOCO/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

The Martyrs' Statue is pictured as the planet Venus makes its transit across the Sun as seen from Beirut. JAMAL SAIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People watch the planet Venus transiting across the sun, at sunrise in Amman. ALI JAREKJI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Residents watch the planet Venus make its transit across the Sun in Beirut. JAMAL SAIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

Residents use binoculars to watch the planet Venus make its transit across the Sun in Beirut. JAMAL SAIDI/REUTERS

Venus Passes Across the Sun

People wearing eclipse glasses watch as Venus moves past the sun at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. GENE BLEVINS/REUTERS

Jun 06, 2012