Transit of Venus

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Adwex, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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  2. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 In Memorandum VIP Member

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    I've been whatching Venus at night for awhile now because it's so large/close right now. abotu a year. i'm excited:D
     
  3. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    You will not see this again in any of our lifetimes.
     
  4. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    The transit of Venus presented the first opportunity to accurately measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun.
     
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  5. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    This is true.


    From Wikipedia:

    A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 lasted six hours). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon. While the diameter of Venus is more than 3 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller, and travels more slowly across the face of the Sun, because it is much farther away from Earth.

    Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena.[1] They occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 commensurabilities.[2][3]

    The next transit of Venus will occur on 5 and 6 June 2012, and will be the last Venus transit this century; the prior transit took place on 8 June 2004. The previous pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. After 2012, the next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.[4][5]

    Venus transits are historically of great scientific importance as they were used to gain the first realistic estimates of the size of the Solar System. Observations of the 1639 transit, combined with the principle of parallax, provided an estimate of the distance between the Sun and the Earth that was more accurate than any other up to that time. In addition, the June 2012 transit will provide scientists with a number of other research opportunities, particularly in the refinement of techniques to be used in the search for exoplanets. A transit of Venus can be safely observed by taking the same precautions used to observe the partial phases of a solar eclipse. Staring at the Sun without appropriate eye protection can quickly cause serious and often permanent eye damage.[6]
     
  6. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I will bet you are watching the NASA channel RIGHT NOW...
     
  7. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    Yes, I am.
     
  8. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCMfp9E7MOY]The Transit of Venus - Explained - YouTube[/ame]
     
  9. carrots

    carrots Senior Member

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    very cool
     
  10. Wiseblood

    Wiseblood Well-Known Member

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    Fuck I need a good telescope, been meaning to save for one but keep buying gear, go figure eh?
     
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  11. CaptainZero

    CaptainZero Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome. I love space stuff, and anything aeronautics.

    I might just go stare at the sun for fun!
     
  12. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    I have one, but I don't have the special filters needed to view the sun.
     
  13. CaptainZero

    CaptainZero Well-Known Member

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    And you're not in the middle of the ocean right now. Does it actually pass over the US?
     
  14. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I have the filters as well as the lenses, too bad it was raining here when the sun was up...
     
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  15. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    You mean "can you see it from the US". Good question, I didn't think of that. I think you can see it everywhere on earth that's in daytime.

    Actually, now that I think about it, the whole idea behind observing it is to observe it from at least two distant locations on the earth, to take advantage of the parallax.

    The NASA coverage takes place in Hawaii, on the mountain Mauna Kea.
     
  16. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Yes, you can see it where the sun is shining for the next 2 days.
     
  17. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    Next 2 days? It only lasts 7 hours or so.
     
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  18. CaptainZero

    CaptainZero Well-Known Member

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    I thought I heard you couldn't see it from the mainland, but I wasn't paying that close of attention. It would be AWESOME to be in Hawaii right now though. Of course I'd probably forget to look for it if I was!
     
  19. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Goes across the date line.
     
  20. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    You're probably thinking of a solar eclipse...when the moon passes in front of the sun. That phenomenon can only be seen from a thin "swath" of locations.

    The transit of venus is a similar phenomenon, but the angular size of venus is much smaller than that of the moon. That's why Venus only appears as a small disk against the Sun.
     

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