This look at Venus pastes mapping data from NASA's Magellan mission onto a computer-generated sphere.
In 2004, Venus passed across the face of the sun. June 5, 2012 is the last transit of Venus until 2117.
One of the first photographs of the transit of Venus 1882.
President Obama spotted Venus and the moon on April 24, 2012 at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado. Venus was at peak brightness that week.
This composite image of Venus uses colors to represent the planet's topography.
A thick blanket of clouds obscures Venus' surface. The Pioneer Venus orbiter snapped this image in 1979.
This image, taken in 2001 by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, was the first-ever view of Venus on the x-ray wavelength.
Giovanni Paglioli took this image on June 8, 2004 from Centro Astronomico Neil Armstrong in Salerno, Italy. The transit, or passage, of Venus across the face of the Sun is one of nature’s rarest celestial phenomena.
The crescent moon and earthshine over the European Southern Observatory's Paranal Observatory. This picture was taken on 27 October 2011 and also records the planets Mercury and Venus.
Michael Wilce of Central London, UK took 20 composite shots to create this image of the Venus transit on June 8, 2004.
This image shows arachnoids on Venus. Don't panic -- we're not talking about alien spiders. Arachnoids are large, concentric oval structures on the planet's surface, surrounded by networks of fractures. Scientists aren't sure how these arachnoids originate.