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Quest To Measure the Venus Transit "Aureole Effect"

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the venusian-death-ray-aimed-at-earth dept.

Space 60

astroengine writes "On Tuesday, Venus will race across the sun — the last Venus transit until 2117 — so the world's astronomers are primed to view this enigmatic event. But it's not just for the historical significance of the celestial phenomenon; real science will also be done. Just before the transit begins, as Venus sinks into the Sun's limb (an event known as "ingress"), the atmosphere of the planet is expected to display a crescent glow known as an "aureole." For as long as transits have been recorded, the Venus aureole has been observed. They are caused by sunlight being refracted through the atmosphere. Interestingly, the aureole is not uniform — often a bright spot appears around the planet's poles. This enhancement in brightness is caused by a variation in atmospheric temperature in the polar mesosphere. When detected, astronomers have the great opportunity to gauge the temperature in the Venusian upper atmosphere, comparing their results with atmospheric models and in-situ measurements made by the ESA Venus Express spacecraft currently in orbit around the planet."

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60 comments

"Real science will also be done" (5, Funny)

kh31d4r (2591021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217369)

I hate the fake kind:-(

Re:"Real science will also be done" (2, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217453)

They don't give out cake for fake science.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (3, Insightful)

jouassou (1854178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217455)

You mean the astrologists that use the Venus transit to predict a revolution [midlandssc...logy.co.uk] ?

Re:"Real science will also be done" (2)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217579)

Astrology is thoroughly debunked, but at least not "fake" science. As something that gives testable results, it is still more relevant than gods or creation, which are not even wrong.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40221359)

If you're completely ignorant of theology, perhaps you shouldn't talk so much about it.

There's more than one religion with more than one set of claims about god(s) and/or creation. Many of these claims are testable and falsible.

But your blind faith in your anti-religious dogma may be impervious to my scientific method...

Re:"Real science will also be done" (2)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222757)

There's more than one religion with more than one set of claims about god(s) and/or creation. Many of these claims are testable and falsible.

Could you please name one such testable religion?

Re:"Real science will also be done" (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217611)

A quick perusal of the linked website turns up this gem:

Modern pop astrology has tended to reduce Venusâ(TM) ancient meanings to those of a loved-up Barbie doll, but there is a surprising amount to contemplate when one investigates more deeply.

"Modern pop astrology"? I find it hillarious to think of curmungeonly old astrologers complaining about the kids these days reading the stars all wrong! Add to that the chuckle-fest of mumbojumbo mixed with a curious sprinkling of scientific terminology:

The Sun's immense nuclear and spiritual power fuels our lives from within and without.

They talk breezily about nuclear power, and yet promulgate superstitious nonsense from the middle ages. How people like this sleep with the raging cognitive dissonance in their heads, I shall never know.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (0, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217733)

How people like this sleep with the raging cognitive dissonance in their heads, I shall never know.

And yet you might well believe that building more wind turbines will keep the Magic Carbon Pixie away so he doesn't melt the ice and the polar bears don't die...

Re:"Real science will also be done" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217735)

I find it hillarious to think of curmungeonly old astrologers complaining about the kids these days reading the stars all wrong!

It happens, and fairly often. The mumbo-jumbo of astrology has its own intricacies, some of which are even related to actual reality. For example, there are virulent spats between tropical astrologers and sidereal astrologers because of the precession of the equinoxes [wikimedia.org] . Apparently, the precession of the equinoxes was not understood by the Babylonians who originated tropical astrology...

Posting as AC to avoid undoing a mod.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40219907)

How people like this sleep with the raging cognitive dissonance in their heads, I shall never know.

With attractive people who are easily led into making bad decisions. Same as porn stars.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219049)

Do you actually believe this nonsense? You can pick any random three times in history and point out some "revolution" that was occurring.

When it happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217607)

I wish I could take my eyes off the telescope for a second and put my finger up to the goddess of love and touch the areola

Re:"Real science will also be done" (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217937)

I hate the fake kind:-(

But the question remains if two African Sparrows carrying a coconut can cross the face of the sun in the same time as Venus can we weigh the sparrows and coconut to determine the weight of the planet Venus? Does this also mean since coconuts float that the planet Venus would float like very small stones? This would be valuable in determining if the planet Venus is made of wood.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (1)

saveferrousoxide (2566033) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218665)

be valuable in determining if the planet Venus is a witch.

FTFY.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217947)

I hate the fake kind:-(

The newer ones aren't so bad. They feel pretty real, and if it's a good surgeon, you don't even see the scar.

Wait, what were we talking about? Something about aureoles, I remember that much.

Re:"Real science will also be done" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40228071)

Anything that weighs the same as a duck will float, Monty Python told me so.

Aureole! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217409)

That'squite an arousing effect. ("Aureole" sounded like something else to me) :D

Re:Aureole! (2)

quenda (644621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217587)

Don't be so childish ... oh WTF, scientist are also hoping the phenomenon will allow glimses of Mons Venus.

Bongdensang.info (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217487)

http://bongdensang.info Free share everything

Venus who? (1)

drmofe (523606) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217569)

Who is this chick Venus and why is she driving a Transit?

Re:Venus who? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217759)

Chick? Transit? Ring? I'll just leave this here...
I'll just leave this here... [youtube.com]

(note for US readers - the Transit you have is the Focus-based Transit Connect. An EMEA Transit is much larger, like the van in the video.

Re:Venus who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217815)

She's going to get her areolae measured.

Re:Venus who? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217881)

She's got it. Yeah, baby, she's got it.

Venus? Aureole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217585)

I was hoping that the goddess of love would show us her tits more offten than a couple times a century...

Re:Venus? Aureole? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217615)

Well, twice a century.

Three times would have been odd, don't you think?

Meh. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40217603)

Serena's the hot one anyway.

Hurm?! (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217709)

So Venus has like a big glowing nipple or something? That's weird.

Simple description... (-1, Troll)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217727)

The Aureole effect is what happens when the skin around the nipple gets crinkly from the nipple becoming erect.
If you were transiting a big ball like the sun, -your- nipples would probably get crinkly too!

Re:Simple description... (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217845)

Why? Is it that cold transiting the sun?

Maybe she's progressive? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217833)

Does Venus have her nipples pierced?

Looked at thread for breast jokes... (4, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217887)

...was not disappointed.

Re:Looked at thread for breast jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40220501)

I was. They used all my best jokes.

Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217955)

Bummer

Just have to commit to living to 150 years then

Where's my jogging shoes?

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218045)

I'm with you. A NASA webcast [nasa.gov] is the closest I'm likely to get to this event: we've had impenetrable cloud cover for nearly a week, and this evening is not likely to clear up.

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218131)

Maybe, maybe not. Here in PA, we had cloud cover for most of yesterday but last night around 6 there were large gaps in the cloud for about half an hour. Enough time that had the transit been yesterday, you could have seen something.

The same looks to be for tonight. Right now there are widely dispersed clouds so the sun is shining bright (which it would be even if the clouds were around, for all you pedantics).

I'm hoping this will continue because I have my pinhole box ready and the highest spot in my area with a clear view of the horizon picked out (note: clear view in my case means I'm roughly as high as the surrounding "mountains").

I've even convinced my parents to come along if the weather cooperates.

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218403)

Bummer

Just have to commit to living to 150 years then

Where's my jogging shoes?

yep, currently raining in Seattle (like that has never happened before, rain, seattle, who would of thought.).

But I can't look at the sun anyways, and I'm way too lazy to prick a hole in something and watch the shadow, so I guess I'll do what most of the world will do.

Read about it online, maybe see a video.

Internet rocks.

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40219515)

who would HAVE thought

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218767)

I'd like to view it here in Reykjavík late this evening, but I don't have any proper eye protection. :P Are there any easy ways to make some improvised eye protection?

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219011)

no. in fact you'll burn your retinas with the usual suspects (black garbage bags, three pairs of sunglasses, etc.)

just make a pinhole camera, it's easy

but if you really want to see it directly, buy yourself a pair of binoculars with real filters

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220097)

Not exactly something you can do on short notice on a weekday in Reykjavík. Most stores will be closed by the time I get off work, and there's not a lot of options for places to get "real filters" anyway. Heck, I couldn't find a place in town that sold a digital pH meter; they had to special order it. And just to find a place that would do that took being bounced between three stores. Even making a proper pinhole camera would be kind of a pain. Can't be flimsy like just holding two sheets of paper near each other -- this being Iceland, it's probably going to be windy in the evening. Don't have any tissue boxes. I mean, I could probably scrounge together something, but...

Also, I think flatly saying "no" seems to be an overstatement. I see lots of people saying "(blank) doesn't work" but never with evidence to back it up. For example, a CD. CDs are polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is opaque to UV and far IR [polycarbon...sheets.com] . It's one of the reasons that it's used in skylights, for example. So what's the problem, given that UV is the main risk of eye damage? Visible is readily gauged by how bright it looks, so that's a no-brainer to assess. And if you're blocking visible light with the metalized filter (aka, a CD), you should also be blocking IR, because metals tend to reflect IR very well (which is why spacecraft use metal foil insulation). And saying all this, given that *unfiltered* views of the sun rarely result in permanent damage [nih.gov] ....

Really, I just expect better from Slashdot than to basically say, in so many words, "it's not possible to block light".

Re:Cloudy on the East Coast at 6 PM (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40221075)

From the link in my other post (again, [mreclipse.com] ), we see that the main problem with CDs is not a fundamental aspect of using them, but simply that their overall transmittance varies depending on how thick the metalized coating is, which can be assessed in advance by looking at the filament of an incandescent bulb. Beyond that, their stats seem to be impressive. The standard recommendation for looking at the sun is #14 welding filter, which is way out of the range for potential eye damage. For a CD or stack of CDs with equivalent visible light attenuation, the UVA level is 2.5x the welding filter and the UVB level is approximately the same - easily in the safe range. The CD actually slightly outperforms the welding filter in IR blocking.

Haha, DATA! (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220889)

Finally, no more having to rely on flat assertions about "everything but welders glass and eclipse filters is dangerous for you!"

Link [mreclipse.com]

The summary section:

Not surprisingly, there was a wide range in the attenuation of visible light by these filter materials. Even among the "safe" filters, there was considerable variation in transmission levels. For example, the differences in processing methods and chemistry resulted in considerable variation in optical density of the silver-bearing black-and-white film emulsions. The double-layer filters had shade numbers between 11 and 16.

I have recently also found a wide range of optical density between individual audio and data compact disks (CD and CD-ROM) because of variations in manufacturing processes. Some compact disks have aluminum films which are so thin that they appear semi-transparent at normal room illumination levels. These CDs are unsuitable for use as solar filters. Higher quality CDs are suitable for use if the aluminum coating is dense enough that the glowing filament of an incandescent light bulb is just barely visible through it.

Floppy disk media have a marginally safe infrared transmission, and produce poor quality images of the solar disk. The magnetic media scatters visible light to the extent that one sees a dull red disk surrounded by a broad halo of red light. I would not recommend using this material for a solar filter.

The most consistent performance was found with the polyester and glass filters. I would avoid aluminized polyester which is used in wrappers for food products and collector cards because of the inconsistent optical quality, but even my sample of Poptarts wrapper performed surprisingly well in terms of protection from optical radiation. (It rated as marginally safe.) However, most of the filter materials specifically designed for eye protection easily met all of the transmittance criteria for safe filters.

Unsafe filters include any image-bearing photographic emulsion, chromogenic (non-silver-bearing) black-and-white film, black processed color film, photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. Although these materials have very low luminous transmittance levels, they transmit an unacceptably high level of near-infrared radiation. The black color film is a good example, having a shade number of 15 for visible light, but transmitting almost 50% of the infrared radiation!

Infrared transmittance levels shown in Table 2 should be regarded as the upper limit of transmittance in the waveband 780 to 1400 nm. The signal-to-noise ratio for low-level measurements in this waveband is extremely low, and thus these data are less reliable than those in the shorter wavebands. Note that even some glass filters with very good safety performance histories such as the Questar and Thousand Oaks glass filters showed infrared transmission levels up to 0.4%.

Smoked glass had very good performance in terms of transmission of visible light and infrared radiation. However, it is a dangerous filter material for two reasons. First, it is very difficult to produce a heavy uniform coating of soot on glass. Second, the coating is very fragile. It is very easy to destroy the filter by handling it. Much of the soot on my sample came off because of contact with its protective wrapping. It also made quite a mess.

There you go :)

Re:Haha, DATA! (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222951)

lol

thank you

i wish i could say i knew all that before my blanket statement. i didn't

Re:Haha, DATA! (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40230493)

I made good use of this. I tested different CDs/DVDs etc and found that, indeed, he was absolutely correct about varying levels of metalization on them. I chose a Microsoft Office '07 CD, which met the lightbulb test well. It provided a great view of the sun, seemed pretty clear to me, no pain, no lingering after-effects (honestly, I can't even remember which eye I used). Unfortunately for me, due to the combination of drifting clouds and horizon obstructions, I couldn't spot Venus. Oh well! There were some *awesome* lenticular clouds being illuminated by the sun that made it all worth it to watch the sunset this evening even without looking for Venus through a filter. :)

Venus Transit (1)

HedRat (613308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218307)

Only women watch the transit of Venus. Men watch the transit of Mars.

Re:Venus Transit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218651)

You must be from a planet or moon farther away from Mars. Stop pretending to be Human.

Solar Glasses (2)

gmby (205626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218393)

Aside from the Glasses made for viewing the sun. (In very short supply right now.) I pose a question/challange to my friends on /.; What household items are there to look thru to view the transite? And anyone out there have some test equiptment to verify the filtering ablility of the items found to work? Some things might be good for the visible spectrum and seam like a good choice untill you find that it did'nt block UV and you find yourself night blind on the way home. I do know about the CD trick but the question still stands because there are so many CD types out there.
Some ideas I had would be a glass of Dark soda (flat and without ice) aka; Dr Pepper, Coke. Or maybe Saran Wrap with nail polish. Three or more UV sunglasses. Or maybe a quick walk thru the grocery store with a portable spectrum meter would be in order.
And yes I will have a pinhole box for the fun of it.

If someone came up with a solution; I bet you'd have the applause and friendship of many fellow /.'ers

Gubmy

PS. I watched the solar eclipse with just my very dark sunglasses and only right at sunset thru the polution of Texas City(lots of refineries), Houston, Galveston. It worked out quite well for very quick glances.

Re:Solar Glasses (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218635)

ONlY #14 wielding Glass. CD trick is NOT SAFE, it ALLOWS a lot of sunlight and IR and UV light through. It's an Urban Myth that they work.

Re:Solar Glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40218677)

You can't get welding gear?

Re:Solar Glasses (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218887)

A small telescope and a piece of paper, put the paper a few inches away from the eyepiece, and aim the scope at the sun, view the reflection on the paper.

Cover the end of the scope with a "space blanket" first to reduce the intensity and to avoid melting the crap plastic lenses in the garbage telescope bought at a department store.

dont look in the eyepiece for any reason.

Re:Solar Glasses (1)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219343)

As far as household objects go, a mylar emergency blanket might do the job. Your best bet is to stick with commercially rated filters... here's an interesting article [who.int] from the World Health Organization about safely viewing the sun.

Re:Solar Glasses (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222361)

A saucepam

Ok, you won't see much, but it is better to fail into the safe side.

Measuring Venus (0)

HedRat (613308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218397)

Just for comparison, the last Venus I measured had aereolas the size of hubcaps off a Packard and piss flaps as big as saddle bags.

Double Take - Read that as areola (1)

bagboy (630125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40218689)

Now the article just isn't the same...

Re:Double Take - Read that as areola (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#40219009)

Well, yeah. It's what's known as the Areola Effect which is known to cause elevated heart rate, moist palms, and localized vascular throbbing generally in men. Additional symptoms might be referred to as inattention deficit disorder aka staring.

venus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40219813)

so does this mean venus got big areola??

aureole (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220361)

"famous titties for $600, alex!"

That's hot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40222101)

Venus has some hot aureolae!

Seinfeld had it right (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222863)

“Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You can't stare at it long, it's too risky. You get a sense of it then you look away.”
Seinfeld

I'm surprised I didn't see anyone else mention this segue from eclipse to areolas.

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