Venus Transit and Lunar Mirror Could Help Astronomers Find Worlds Around Other Stars
Dec. 13, 2012 — On June 6, 2012, Venus passed directly between Earth and the Sun, in a so-called transit where the planet appears as a silhouette against the solar disk, something that will not happen again until Dec. 5, 2117. A team of Italian astronomers led by Paolo Molaro of the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica at the University of Trieste used the opportunity to perform an unusual and challenging experiment, looking at the sunlight reflected off the Moon ('moonlight') to see how it changed during the transit. This technique could help scientists to find planets in orbit around other stars.
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Sources: Royal Astronomical Society, ScienceDaily.com .
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