Transit of Venus from Saturn

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Simulation of Venus transiting the Sun on 2012-Dec-21 as seen from Saturn.

A transit of Venus across the Sun as seen from Saturn takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Saturn, obscuring a small part of the Sun's disc for an observer on Saturn. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Saturn as a small black disc moving across the face of the Sun.


Naturally, no human has ever seen a transit of Venus from Saturn, nor is this likely to happen in any foreseeable future. However, the 21 December 2012 transit was observed by the VIMS spectrometer aboard the Cassini spacecraft, for the purpose of testing the instrument's suitability for exoplanet studies. The instrument attempted to observe chemical signatures; no images were returned since the entire solar disk only covered a few pixels.[1][1]

The next transit will take place on 14 January 2028.

A transit could hypothetically be observed from the surface of one of Saturn's moons rather than from Saturn itself. The times and circumstances of the transits would naturally be slightly different.

The Venus-Saturn synodic period is 229.494 days. It can be calculated using the formula 1/(1/P-1/Q), where P is the sidereal orbital period of Venus (224.695434 days) and Q is the orbital period of Saturn (10746.940 days).

The inclination of Venus's orbit with respect to Saturn's ecliptic is 2.06°, which is less than its value of 3.39° with respect to Earth's ecliptic.

The transit that occurred on 21 March, 1894 was particularly interesting because later on the same day there was a transit of Mercury from Saturn, followed by the beginning of a transit of Mercury as viewed from Venus, although no two of the transits occurred simultaneously.[2]

Also interesting is the event of 9 December, 2056, when a Venus transit will begin a few hours after a near-miss by Mercury.

Transits of Venus from Saturn[edit]

Transits of Venus from Saturn
21 March, 1894
6 May, 2012
21 December, 2012
14 January, 2028
31 August, 2028
9 December, 2056

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pasachoff, Jay M.; et al. (June 2013). "Transit Observations of Venus's Atmosphere in 2012 from Terrestrial and Space Telescopes as Exoplanet Analogs". American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #222: #217.01. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  2. ^ Albert Marth (1894). "Note on the Transit of Mercury over the Sun’s Disc, which takes place for Venus on 1894 March 21, and on the Transits of Venus and Mercury, which occur for Saturn’s System on the same day". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 54: 172–174. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 

External links[edit]