Transit of Venus letdown for Sunderland stargazers

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STARGAZERS on Wearside were left disappointed as cloud cover prevented them from seeing this morning’s transit of Venus.

About 20 dedicated astronomers gathered on the seafront at Cliffe Park at 4am in a bid to catch a glimpse of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

But as millions around the world watched the planet pass in front of the sun, a blanket of grey cloud meant members of Sunderland’s Astronomical Society will have to make do with television pictures instead.

The society’s Paul Meade said: “It was completely clouded out.

“It was a really good turn-out and there was a slight glint on the horizon at first.

“But it just got steadily worse and, unfortunately, we missed it.”

Paul’s disappointment is compounded by the fact experts predict it will be another 105 years before we see such an event again.

It is believed the best spot on the planet to catch the transit was Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, leading to jokes that Newcastle got a better view of Venus than Sunderland.