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Space Science

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

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  • busy (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:31PM (#40158975)

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

  • Plan B (Score:4, Funny)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:38PM (#40159087) Homepage

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

  • I hope I'll be able to see the next transit with my naked cyber-eye.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 g

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @03:55PM (#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: Captain Cook (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EdmundSS ( 264957 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:31PM (#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.
      • 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.

    • 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?
    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

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

    • by waimate ( 147056 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @05:37PM (#40160797) Homepage

      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".

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        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.
    • 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 suffe

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        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

      • 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!
  • Oh sure... (Score:4, Funny)

    by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:26PM (#40159863) Homepage Journal

    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

    • 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?
      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

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

        • 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.
      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        And dude, please read the footnote, since it OBVIOUSLY applies to you!!!!!!

    • Yeah. LA should build more trains for nobody to use...
  • A graphic novel (Score:4, Informative)

    by tizan ( 925212 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @04:42PM (#40160143)

    A comic pamphlet that explains the historical importance etc... []

  • > 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!

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

  • by scharkalvin ( 72228 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @05:47PM (#40160891) Homepage

    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.

  • I don't wanna miss this....!
  • simulation on how you can see transit: []
  • Only women watch the transit of Venus. Men watch the transit of Mars.

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute.