On rare occasions, Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. During the twenty-first century, it will happen twice, once in the year 2004, and once in the year 2012. Such events are called Venus Transits.
The following photographs were taken from the roof of Angell Hall on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the last Venus Transit (the morning of June 8, 2004, between 6:00 a.m. and 7:25 a.m).
Dr. Patrick Seitzer (from the U-M Astronomy Department) used a cardboard box to display an image of the Sun allowing several people to view the Transit at the same time. This photograph shows the cardboard box and the image of the Sun. The disk of Venus is clearly visible (the black dot on the left side of the sun).
Dr. Mario Mateo (also from the U-M Astronomy Department) used eye-piece projection to display the Venus Transit onto a sheet of paper he held in his hand. This also allowed several people to view the Transit at the same time. Venus is visible as a small black dot on the surface of the sun in this photograph.