Back in 2004 I was fortunate enough to witness the planet Venus crossing the face of the Sun. On 5th or 6th June 2012, depending on which part of the world you were in, this event, called a transit, was visible once again. For those of you who saw it, congratulations. For those of you who didn’t, tough luck. This event won’t take place again till the year 2117.
Regardless of whether you were fortunate enough to witness the transit or not, here are two wonderful treats I came across on the web.
Catch your breath. Now hold it again. Here is a jaw-dropping high-definition video of the planet Venus in transit, taken from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
“SDO orbits the Earth about 40,000 kilometers (24,000 miles) above the surface of the Earth, with a nearly-continuous view of the Sun — so it had the best seat in the Universe for the transit.” – Phil Plait, Astronomer.
Great people choose their time and make it their own. American author, Ray Bradbury, who ushered a revolution in science-fiction literature with his works, passed away in Los Angeles on the morning of 6th June 2012, aged 91. He probably couldn’t have chosen a better day to pass on. May his soul rest in cosmic bliss.
Sources for this article:
1) Phil Plait’s blog on Discover Magazine, Bad Astronomy.
2) Laurent V. Joli-Coeur’s website, Young Astronomer.