On November 8 2006, Mercury will pass (transit) across the face of the Sun:
Here are the phases of venus as observed in 2002.
As Venus emerges from behind the Sun (below) it is far from Earth,
small, and nearly 'full'.
As it comes round towards Earth, it gets closer and
appears larger, but we see less of the lit-up face.
The lit-up side always faces the Sun!