Couple celebrates celestial phenomenon on anniversary
More than 600 people gathered in Mackinaw City Tuesday night to see the last Transit of Venus of the century.
It's an extremely rare astronomical event in which Venus passes between the earth and the sun at just the exact right angle, so that the planet is silhouetted against the solar disk, like someone punched a hole in the sun.
The process takes about six hours and it wont happen again for another 105 years.
It was an extra special day for 84 year-old Bill Stewart and his wife 82 year-old wife Doris Stewart, who were celebrating June 5th as a once in a lifetime date, for more than one reason. ã??
Doris Stewart says,"Were here celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary, we've changed a lot, but we've had a good time all the way!"
The couple traveled nearly 5 hours from downstate to experience the rare celestial phenomenon, underneath the deep, northern Michigan night sky. They say the Headlands International Dark Park is one of the best viewing spots. Bill Stewart says, "There is no artificial light conflicting up here, so you get to see the northern lights and this event clearly."
The incredible spectacle happens in eight-year pairs, the last on happened on June 8th 2004, but many argue this transit is a bigger deal. Director of Programs at Headlands International Dark Sky Park Mary Stewart Adams says, "What makes it more special is when we had a transit in 2004, when most people weren't really paying attention. In between times they get really ready. When this transit happened in 1761 to 1769, the first one was not as well attended but the second, one everyone gets in the program!"
The next Transit of Venus won't happen until December of 2117.
The Transit of Venus was visible in northern Michigan starting at 6:00pm, it was no longer visible at around 9:00pm.
To check out the entire story, and see some of the Transit of Venus, click on the video above.