Friday, June 8, 2012

Post-Venus Transit

  On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, Venus came between the Earth and the Sun in a rare transit that happens in pairs ever hundred to a hundred and fifty years.  Although this occurrance is that of rarity, it is among very few predictable rarities.  The last time Venus transitted the Sun and the Earth, it was June 8, 2004.  The last time Venus made it's transit was December 9, 1874 and then again on December 6, 1882.  The next time after this past Tuesday that humans will be able to see a Venus transit will be December 10, 2117, and then December 2125 - our great grandchildren will be alive when it happens, crazy, right?  Below is a chart from Google depicting which areas of the world were able to see this event take place:

  There were different methods to have been able to see this transit.  I listed a few in my previous post on the day of the transit.  I apologize if I mislead anyone to believing that looking directly at the sun was the right thing to do - never ever look directly at the sun no matter what I say, you will burn your retinas to a crisp.  Anyways, as it was explained to me, you would take a piece of paper and poke a penpoint-size hole through it.  Hold the paper close to the ground so that you can see the little hole of light on the ground.  Hold it there until you see a small dark circle moving across the little gap of light - it is possible!  Other things you can use for this are saltine crackers (and then eat them afterwards incelebration, I guess).  If you are fortunate enough, you could have gotten a pair of welder's glasses to put on and look directly at the sun.  However, most people don't own welder's glasses. 

  The cloudy picture below on the right was taken in Woodstock, Maryland around the 6 o'clock afternoon hour.  This is the time closest to when I would have been able to see it.  The one beside it (without the cloudiness) was taken in Syracuse, New York around the same time. 

  Although I tried, I myself could not get a mere glimpse of the twin planet crossing the sun in the late afternoon.  However, for history's sake, I can say that I was there when it happened, I tried, and was outside as Venus was crossing the sun - that is more than most people care to do.  So I hope that my children and grandchildren can appreciate the fact that I was a part of a rare, but predictable, phenomenon in history.


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