Transit of Venus

Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 04:33 pm
I just stepped outside to take a quick peek at the sky. It;s 12:31 p.m. here so the transit must have started. But, sorry to say, the sky is all overcast and the sun is not visible. Maybe I'll get to see it in my next life. Listening to Gustav Holtz's "The Planets" on the Local NPR hookup.

What's it like where you are?
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Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 04:35 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I just posted this link over at the yabber-liner

perfect viewing conditions in Toronto if you've got the gear

Lustig Andrei
Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 04:40 pm
Thanx for that link. Too late for me to get to the summit of Mauna Kea where the visibility is probably pretty darn good. (But also there's probably still snow on the ground Smile).
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Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 06:25 pm
Careful or you can go Venetian blind!
Lustig Andrei
Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 06:56 pm
Good 'un, Rag.
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Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 07:04 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Quite imperfect conditions here in Columbus but we had some astounding luck and the 20 minutes all day that the sun was shining here were the 20 minutes we were on our way to the rooftop viewing event, waiting in line, and actually looking through telescopes. I was at the telescope when the clouds encroached again, and was the last in my group to see. Very, very lucky. (And very, very cool to see.)
Lustig Andrei
Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 07:50 pm
Glad to hear that a lot of people are getting good views. It's particularly exasparating for me because Hawaii, because of its location and the timing of the event, was supposed to be one of the top spots for viewing the transit. By the time it started on the mainland USA, it's already late afternoon. For ius it was supposed to comence right around high noon. But the skies are so cloud filled -- at least on the East Coast of this island -- that we can't see nothing. I'm just trying to figger out where exactly the sun is in the sky this time of day (3:49 p.m. local).
Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 08:07 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I don't think you'll miss trying to find the sun as long as it's not cloudy. (chuckling)

Viewing in Hawaii starts at 6PM local time to sunset:



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Reply Tue 5 Jun, 2012 09:45 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Perfect in the Ohio Valley and it is confirmed--- Venus is round--started here about 5:04 CST and lasted till sundown.

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Reply Fri 8 Jun, 2012 02:42 am

I had a perfect view---on television---several times, as well as two radio programs giving me an excellent historical overview---in addition to some fine material in cyberspace. Then I wrote the following:

The rare conjunction of orbital mechanics, the transit of Venus, was perhaps the most anticipated scientific event of the 18th century. Expeditions set off for the far corners of the Earth, including one by Capt. James Cook who sailed to Tahiti to observe the transit. He went on to discover the continent of Australia where I have lived for the last four decades. Explorers like Cook went in hopes of answering one of the most vexing scientific questions of the day: How far away is the Sun?

“This was the big unknown for astronomy 250 years ago,” said Owen Gingerich, an emeritus professor of astronomy and history of science at Harvard. Without that number, much else about the solar system was also uncertain: the size of the Sun, the distance between planets, inter alia. The answer that came out of the worldwide 1769 observations was pretty close at 95 million miles. “Historically speaking, it was the beginning of big international science,” said Dr. Gingerich.

It was only in 1627 that anyone realized Venus transits occurred at all. That year, Johannes Kepler, the mathematician and astronomer, published data about the planetary orbits that predicted that Venus would pass directly between Earth and the Sun in 1631.-Ron Price with thanks to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/sc...l?ref=eclipses

What a set of revolutions we’ve
seen since Captain Cook was in
Tahiti and we finally learned the
distance to the Sun among other
bodies in our solar system! What
a story it has been in the last 250
years! We each follow these many
revolutions as suits our tastes and
interests. My particular interest is
in the revolutions that have taken
place in history, science, politics,
the many social sciences, applied
and physical sciences, indeed, in
more areas than can be listed here:
revolutions that have eclipsed so
many things that have gone before.

* The term eclipse is derived from an ancient Greek noun, a noun which means "the abandonment", "the downfall", or "the darkening of a heavenly body." This noun is derived from a verb which means "to abandon", "to darken", or "to cease to exist." The prefix of the word eclipse, e, comes from a preposition meaning "out," and from a verb meaning "to be absent".

Ron Price
8 June 2012

PS for my writing in many areas of these revolutionary changes go to my website at: Edit [Moderator]: Link removed
Reply Fri 8 Jun, 2012 03:38 am
I've reported your post to management, i'm hoping they'll remove it. This site wasn't set up to provide you a convenient venue for your self-promotion.
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Reply Fri 8 Jun, 2012 05:58 am
I had a perfect view---on television---several times, as well as two radio programs giving me an excellent historical overview--
It's one of the nice things about these events. People stop for a few moments and learn a little something.

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Reply Thu 9 Jan, 2014 08:04 pm
At the risk of upsetting Setanta, and since this thread has an extra-terrestrial aspect, a theme beyond this planet, I'll post a prose-poem I wrote recently on......


And then there was light….

The Universe(1) is an American documentary television series which first appeared in the UK in 2007 and it continued to the end of 2011. I did not begin watching the series in Australia until 2012. Computer-generated imagery and computer graphics of astronomical objects, as well as interviews with experts in the fields of cosmology, astronomy and astrophysics make this series fascinating for people like me whose knowledge of these fields has always been minimal.

I have had a fascination with these subjects since the start of the space age in the late 1950s and early 1960s, since my becoming affiliated with the Bahá'í Faith back in the 1950s during my adolescence, and since having the influence of a maternal grandfather who was also interested in these fields. It is difficult not to be interested in the subject being in the first generation to see the movement of man into space in the last five decades.

But I have never followed-up that interest in any serious way other than: (a) to attend two or three of those planetariums that dot the landscape of the cities of the world, (b) to browse through a few books and (c) to listen and watch the occasional special on astronomy in the electronic media like the one to which I refer above.-Ron Price with thanks to (1) 7TWO TV, 25-26 February 2012, 11:45 p.m. to 12:50 a.m. and The Universe(TV Series) at Wikipedia.

Now that I am retired from
the world of jobs, meetings
and what now seems like an
endless amount of socializing,
I can give myself to learning &
the cultural attainments of the
mind. I really got going with the
fields of astronomy, cosmology
and astrophysics in the year ’09:1

1 The International Year of Astronomy 2009 was a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day-and-night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. In 2009 astronomy celebrated four centuries of its modern existence, beginning with Galileo in 1609. In December 2010 a National Geographic video-documentary was televised. It was entitled: Journey to the Edge of the Universe. I have written about this before.

In the first years of my retirement from FT, PT and volunteer work, 2005-2012, there has been an increasing range of stimuli that have turned me toward astronomy of which the series I mention and that National Geographic video above are but two. It will be interesting to see the development of this interest in these middle years(65-75) of my late adulthood, the years from 60 to 80 according to one model of human development in the lifespan.

The cosmic dark age, perhaps as long
as 200 million or more years, is but
one of the great mysteries of astronomy.1

1 John Mather who won the Nobel prize for physics in 2006 said this. He is a senior astrophysicist at the U.S. space agency's (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

What brought this cosmic dark age to an end was the birth of the first stars and galaxies. "Suddenly light was everywhere," says Abraham Loeb of Harvard's Centre for Astrophysics. "The Universe lit up like a Christmas tree."

Ron Price
29/2/'12 to 10/1/'14.

PS Feel free to report me, Senanta. I will be quite happy to respond to any note from moderators at this site.-Ron Price, Tasmania

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