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Everything You Need To Know About the June 5/6 Venus Transit

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the please-don't-blind-yourself dept.

Space 55

The Bad Astronomer writes "Next week, on June 5/6, there will be the last Venus transit across the face of the Sun until the year 2117. There are dozens of sites issuing press releases about it — online resources, watching live, viewing advice — so I've collected them into a single blog post with tons of links and my own advice on how to observe this (most likely) last-in-a-lifetime event. This complements the previous article on Slashdot from a few weeks ago."

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55 comments

busy (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40158975)

I'm busy that day, I'll just wait for the next one ...

Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40158985)

"Venus" sounds like "penis"

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159219)

Venus, you dipstick!

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159267)

Penis, your lipstick!

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159723)

your all fagets.

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40160133)

You're! You insensitive clod!

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40160155)

you're

Re:Everything you need to know about FIRST POST (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40161663)

Faggots! You insensitive clod!

Plan B (3, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about 2 years ago | (#40159087)

If I miss this, I'll just get in my spaceship and watch it some other time, from space.

Re:Plan B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159213)

... and watch it some other time, from space.

Or from another place, for that matter ...

Dammit - I'll miss it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159099)

I'm out of town on those days.

Darn!

Can I be the first to say: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159331)

From the blog page:

Even in modern times, transits are useful. We look for planets orbiting other stars using a similar method, watching for a dip in the light as the planet blocks the star. To help refine this method, astronomers will use Hubble (!) to look at the Moon (!) — since the Moon is lit by the Sun, the tiny drop in sunlight during the transit should dim the Moon a bit. They’re actually hoping to see if they can detect Venus’s atmosphere too, since that will affect how the light gets to the Moon from the Sun. Amazing.

Very interesting. Nice blog!

Captcha: SHELTER

It might not sound like much but (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#40159371)

A few hundred years ago the British sent a ship out to the Pacific to observe the Transit Of Venus, with Captain James Cook in charge.
In addition to observing the rare astronomical event, he also discovered Australia

Which didn't turn out so good for the people who had been living there for 40,000 years.

Re:It might not sound like much but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159485)

40,000 years? How do you figure that?

Best figure I know is about 12,000 years for the oldest archeological evidence in Oz.

Re:It might not sound like much but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159515)

Yebbut they were only niggers. Kind of.

Re:It might not sound like much but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159567)

fucken fagets had it coming.

Re: Captain Cook (4, Insightful)

EdmundSS (264957) | about 2 years ago | (#40159945)

Cook was an enlightened captain, *generally* treating both is crew and the natives extremely well by the standards of the day. He extended our knowledge of several Pacific islands, especially New Zealand, charting them in great detail. However, their existence was generally already known about from the voyages of Ferdinand Magellan & Abel Tasman, so it's grossly unfair to blame Cook for any subsequent poor outcomes for natives in Australia & the Pacific.

Re: Captain Cook (1)

FreshlyShornBalls (849004) | about 2 years ago | (#40170225)

Bah. This sounds like the nonsense twenty years ago about how evil Christopher Columbus was.

The native American Indians in general were not "nicer". It's just their technology wasn't quite what Columbus had. So, in short, if the Indians had possessed guns and boats, they'd have "discovered" Europe.

what's cool about the transit? (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#40159967)

The linked article was interesting, but it didn't cover the most important question - what should I look for in the transit, and why should I be excited about it? I saw the solar eclipse from griffith observatory in LA, and it was awesome. Got some amazing pics of the sun being blotted out. But this sounds like it will just be a little blip on the sun. Will there be an opportunity for interesting pictures?

Re:what's cool about the transit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40160111)

It would stop you from trolling.

Re:It might not sound like much but (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#40160201)

So what you're saying is that the arrival of the British turned their world upside-down?

Captain Cook did not discover Australia (3, Informative)

waimate (147056) | about 2 years ago | (#40160797)

Its a common misconception, but the "great southern land" Cook was tasked to find was not Australia -- it was another large continent in the south pacific. Cook criss-crossed the Pacific sufficiently to establish there was not room for another continent to be hiding. Having *not* discovered the great southern land, the next part of his mission was to go map the east coast of Australia. Everyone knew it was there, and had done for hundreds of years. But nobody had any accurate charts. He "charted", did not "discover".

Re:Captain Cook did not discover Australia (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 2 years ago | (#40176367)

Before Cook, Australia was part of that great continent they expected to find. Abel Tasman's maps, which Cook was using, showed parts of the West Coast of Australia, the East Coast of New Zealand, and a big unknown in between.

Re:It might not sound like much but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40164723)

Hate to tell you this (that's actually a lie... I love it)... but:

If you'd lived there for 40,000 years (I would quibble with that figure but it's irrelvant to this argument)... and your only achievement is "the walkabout", a hollow stick that makes a honking noise when blow into it and... the boomerang - then you're just about fucked when an actual culture/civilisation shows up.

Re:It might not sound like much but (1)

Palamos (1379347) | about 2 years ago | (#40166119)

I think that's grossly unfair, they also invented only drinking a little bit but getting very drunk indeed.

Re:It might not sound like much but (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#40165089)

Yeah, medicine, nutrition, agriculture, which have all ended up in at least doubling life expectancy, lowering childhood mortality, etc. it's horrible what the modern world has done for Aborigines. Practically torture.
I'm sure they'd all be rather living as subsistence hunter-gatherers like the tribes in the jungles of Paupua, New Guinea.

What the heck have the Romans ever done for us?

We seem to repeatedly fail to distinguish the difference between individual, personal tragedy (which has no doubt been suffered by the Native peoples of Australia, North America, South America, Africa and, well, pretty much everywhere an advanced people met a less-technologically adept one, ever in history) and overall outcome. I'm not saying the ends justify the means - particularly when the bulk of the tragedies were inflicted by people whose intentions were in no way positive - but over the span of centuries where individual tears don't really count, it's hard not to see it that way.

Re:It might not sound like much but (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40165297)

While that's sort of a flamebait topic, there is at least some truth to the concept. I saw an interview with some subsistence farmers once for whom Bono had been campaigning to "save their indigenous lifestyle" or something like that. And their take on it was, what you call a lifestyle, we call poverty.

It should be up to each culture to decide what elements of modern life they want to incorporate and which elements of their traditional life they want to preserve. Now, as for what the Aboriginees think of the changes in their society, I have no idea; I don't know any.

Re:It might not sound like much but (1)

Palamos (1379347) | about 2 years ago | (#40166141)

I think that there are few that would suggest that the 'west' has done a lot of good but there are equally few that would suggest that in the process we've also done a lot of harm. On balance it's been good but it must have been a bugger at the time!

About astronomical observations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40159445)

Astronomy is one of the few things where the pictures are better than what you can actually see in person.

Re:About astronomical observations... (2)

mikecase (1991782) | about 2 years ago | (#40160481)

While you can surely see more detail in astronomy (as well as microscopy) photos, the experience just isn't the same. For me and my family, watching the transit through my safely filtered binoculars is much more exciting that simply browsing through the results of a Google image search for '2004 Venus Transit.' For my kids especially, who live in a world full of digital experiences, seeing something significant in person is not to be missed.

Oh sure... (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#40159863)

Sure, they spend money on VENUS transit, but just try to get any sort of transit in LA!!!*

*Under the ADA, for the humor impaired, I am required to note that humor tags are implied for this post

Re:Oh sure... (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#40160003)

dude, in LA you can ride metrolink, two subway lines, three light rail lines, and dozens of bus lines. Where are you going to/from? You mean city of LA, or bumfudge outlying town in LA county?

Re:Oh sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40160277)

*dozens* of bus lines? For *LA*, you say?

SF's transit is so-so, but check out its bus and subway lines:
http://transit.511.org/static/providers/maps/SF_1222201020400.gif

Re:Oh sure... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#40160405)

LA Proper. West Valley. And I don't want to go downtown, I want to go to the West Side.

Re:Oh sure... (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#40160625)

metro rapid bus lines shoots down sepulveda & 405 from northridge to ucla and beyond. there's a light rail extension under construction that will extend the expo line from culver city to colorodo and fourth street in santa monica. this is a straight shot from downtown. speaking of downtown, metro orange line and metrolink orange line straight shot from west valley to downtown. see, there are plenty of options.

...and I still would have banged her! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40160519)

> how to observe this (most likely) last-in-a-lifetime event.

2117 is the next one.

Claire from Six Feet Under lived to 102 and she missed it by 30 years!

Best simulator online is at SunAeon (1)

mybecq (131456) | about 2 years ago | (#40160679)

By far the best simulator (with details) local to your own timezone, is the one by SunAeon [sunaeon.com] .

Last Time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40160733)

OMG. The last time this happened, I was assaulted by a sasquatch.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Sousa (2)

scharkalvin (72228) | about 2 years ago | (#40160891)

Over 100 years ago during the last pair of Venus transists the 'march king' was so excited by the rare astronomical event that he wrote both a novel and a march titled 'Transist of Venus'. This Sousa march is rarely played today (I found one performance of it on Youtube by an obscure High School band) and you can download and read the novel which is in the public domain.

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