Loading...
Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Transit of Venus 2012

The last transit of Venus across the face of the sun that will be seen in the lifetime of anyone living at this time occurred today. The next one will be in 2117. Some of my yet to be born great-grandchildren might be around for the next one, but if so they will be very old.

The videos below give some background into the transit and the history of past transits.

Here is an article explaining the science and maths behind the calculation of the distance of the planets, using the transit of Venus.

As the videos explained transits occur in pairs 8 years apart, followed by breaks of either 105 years or 122 years. The current transit is the second in the latest pair, the previous one being in 2004.

The transit before the one in 2004 was in 1882 - yes, there wasn't one transit of Venus in the 20th century. Astronomer William Harkness, of the US Naval Observatory, wrote the following just before the 1882 transit:

We are now on the eve of the second transit of a pair, after which there will be no other until the 21st century of our era has dawned upon the Earth. When the last transit season occurred the intellectual world was awakening from the slumber of ages and that wonderous scientific activity, which has led to our present advanced knowledge was just beginning. What will be the state of science when the next transit season arrives God only knows.

Today I watched the transit on my computer as it was streamed, over the Internet, from telescopes in Hawaii. Although today's transit will provide useful information, it will not help in the major scientific objective of transits before this century, as the scale of the Solar System has been determined by other means. We now know the distances to the other objects in the Solar System by the use of powerful radar pulses sent from our radio telescopes. As well there are satellites circling Mercury and Saturn and others on the way to Mars and Pluto. Further the Opportunity rover is sitting on the edge of Endeavour crater waiting for its next season of exploring on Mars. No one in Harkness's time could have imagined anything like that.

Here are some photographs taken today of the transit (click on them for a larger view):

Venus crossing the limb of the sun at the beginning

About half way through

The following two photos are oriented differently to those above - ie top to bottom.
Venus close to exititing (at the bottom) as a cloud crosses the sun

The transit almost over - Venus can be seen as a little bump at the bottom right

The videos below were constructed from still frames produced by the Solar Dynamics Observatory . Venus in the videos looks transparent, but in fact the light from the sun is being bent around the planet by its atmosphere.

Link to videos

9 comments:

Peter said...

WELL DONE STEPHEN !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from
this site, and your views are fastidious in favor of new visitors.


Look at my web site 93 mazda rx7 for sale

Anonymous said...

Hi there to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this
site, and your views are fastidious in favor of new visitors.



Here is my web page; 93 mazda rx7 for sale

Anonymous said...

You could certainly see your expertise within the work you write.
The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

my site ... outward hound pet sling

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog here! Additionally your site loads up very fast!
What web host are you the use of? Can I am getting
your affiliate link to your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours
lol

Feel free to visit my blog post :: fantasy baseball draft

ninest123 said...

tiffany and co, michael kors, longchamp outlet, gucci outlet, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, ugg boots, longchamp pas cher, sac longchamp, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, cheap oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, nike free, longchamp, oakley sunglasses, ralph lauren pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin, replica watches, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, uggs on sale, nike free, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, polo ralph lauren outlet, prada outlet, nike air max, louboutin pas cher, jordan shoes, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, air jordan pas cher, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, burberry, ray ban sunglasses, air max, oakley sunglasses, nike roshe run, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet

ninest123 said...

ray ban uk, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, lululemon, hogan, michael kors outlet, vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, nike roshe, coach outlet, mulberry, lacoste pas cher, nike blazer, ralph lauren uk, hollister pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, michael kors outlet, replica handbags, coach purses, new balance pas cher, nike air max, tn pas cher, true religion jeans, air force, nike free run uk, hollister, burberry, burberry outlet online, north face, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, michael kors, true religion outlet, true religion jeans, ray ban pas cher, sac guess, michael kors, michael kors, nike air max, timberland, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, nike air max, hermes, north face, ugg boots, converse pas cher, michael kors

ninest123 said...

celine handbags, ray ban, chi flat iron, mont blanc, vans shoes, jimmy choo shoes, mac cosmetics, longchamp, instyler, insanity workout, ralph lauren, reebok shoes, p90x workout, nike air max, converse outlet, giuseppe zanotti, lululemon, mcm handbags, iphone cases, beats by dre, valentino shoes, timberland boots, hollister, vans, ghd, oakley, nfl jerseys, birkin bag, gucci, nike roshe, hollister, new balance, soccer jerseys, soccer shoes, baseball bats, north face outlet, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, wedding dresses, nike air max, lancel, north face outlet, babyliss, nike huarache, hollister, asics running shoes, bottega veneta, nike trainers, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger

ninest123 said...

moncler, replica watches, swarovski crystal, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, links of london, swarovski, bottes ugg, barbour, canada goose, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, moncler, barbour jackets, ugg boots uk, wedding dresses, coach outlet, juicy couture outlet, thomas sabo, moncler, canada goose, montre pas cher, canada goose, toms shoes, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, moncler, pandora charms, karen millen, canada goose, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, doudoune canada goose, moncler, pandora jewelry, supra shoes, hollister, marc jacobs, sac louis vuitton pas cher, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora jewelry