Skywatchers prepare for rare Venus fly-by

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA, June 5: One of the rarest astronomical events occurs today and Wednesday when the planet Venus passes directly between the sun and Earth, a transit that won’t occur again until 2117. Transits of Venus happen in pairs eight years apart, with more than a century between cycles. During the pass, Venus appears as a small, dark round spot moving across the face of the sun, like a bug on a dinner plate. (agencies)