People all over the Earth watched a rare astronomical event Wednesday: the transit of Venus, as it passed between the Sun and Earth.
In northern India, the Sun rose with a black dot on it. Throughout the day, students in South Korea, the Philippines and elsewhere used colored film or more sophisticated equipment to view the transiting planet, which looked like a small dark dot on the Sun.
The phenomenon happens twice in an 8-year-period and then will not occur again until more than 100 years later. Wednesday's transit was the second time in eight years and the next pair of transits will happen in 2117.
Scientists hope to learn more about Venus' atmosphere and why that planet is so different from Earth.
Some, of course, are taking a less scientific view, attempting to tie the Venus transit with December 2012 "end of the world" events touted by believers in the so-called Mayan calendar prophecy.
According to a Blogger.com writer named Laron, the last Venus transit was on June 8, 2004, and six months later, the devastating tsunami that claimed the lives of over 230,000 persons in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand on Boxing Day occurred. Laron claims that a similar event will happen in December 2012 and that the western United States and Canada will be affected.
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