Venus crosses the Sun Venus made its transit across the Sun on 5–6 June, watched eagerly by professional and amateur astronomers, as well as by millions of people following it on live webcasts. The rare event occurs twice in close succession roughly every 120 years; the last transit was in 2004 and the next one will not be until 2117. Scientists hoped to get a once-in-a-lifetime snapshot of the climate of the entire planet (rather than the time- and space-limited atmospheric snapshots taken by the Venus Express probe), and to use the transit to check the way we measure exoplanets circling distant stars. See for more.