Thursday, April 26, 2012

June 5th - Where will you be?

June 5th, do you know where you will be between 3pm and 8pm on June 5th? Hint: The correct answer is watching the Solar Transit of Venus. First a warning, then the details. This is something that can be seen with the naked eye, but you CANNOT stare up at the sun, so either use at least #14 welders goggles, if using binoculars or a telescope, use a solar filter; sunglasses will not protect you!!!

Venus begins her transit in front of the Sun in the afternoon of Tuesday, June 5th. It goes on for about five hours. “The Black Drop”, a dark thread that appears to connect Venus and the edge of the Sun can be seen at both the start and finish of the transit.

Some of you are wondering, ‘hmmm, a planet going between us and the Sun, that is bound to have some affect on Earth – gravity? Radiation?’

A team of Indian Physicists thought the same thing and studied the effects in 2004 (the last one). Apparently there is a change to the Earth’s atmospheric Electrical field during the transit. Basically Venus has an atmosphere of CO2 and Nitrogen so the absorbed ionizing of solar particles will make changes to the electrical conductivity of the Earth. There are also the Tidal Forces, but nothing we don’t survive every 8 years and then get a break for 121.5 years and then have it every 8 years for awhile and then go 105.5. It is considered one of the rarest of the predictable events.

Now if your one who needs to book events months in advance, then save a spot in August. Mars, the cool looking planet with a reddish glow pairs up with Saturn, the ringed planet. Look up near Spica, Virgo’s brightest star. And while you are enjoying the beauty of the sky, remember the Mayan’s calendar ends around August 12th or 14th. (Depends who you believe!)

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