<p>A distorted sun with a "blemish" on its face rises over the Caspian Sea in a picture of the <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/120604-transit-of-venus-2012-sun-planet-hubble-space-science-how-when/">2012 transit of Venus</a> taken from the shores of Azerbaijan on Wednesday.</p><p>During the transit—the last one until 2117—Venus crossed between Earth and the sun, so that observers could see a black dot gliding over the solar disk. The sun appears squashed in this frame because more of its light is being bent by the thick layers of Earth's atmosphere.</p><p>(<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/pictures/120606-venus-transit-2012-pictures-sun-planet-nasa-space-science/">See more 2012 Venus transit pictures.</a>)</p>

Transit Distortion

A distorted sun with a "blemish" on its face rises over the Caspian Sea in a picture of the 2012 transit of Venus taken from the shores of Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

During the transit—the last one until 2117—Venus crossed between Earth and the sun, so that observers could see a black dot gliding over the solar disk. The sun appears squashed in this frame because more of its light is being bent by the thick layers of Earth's atmosphere.

(See more 2012 Venus transit pictures.)

Photograph by Tunç Tezel, TWAN

Space Pictures This Week: Venus Transit, Shuttle Trek, More

A planet crossing, a scarred moon, and a massive galactic merger feature among our editor's picks for this week's best space pictures.

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