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Space Science

Quest To Measure the Venus Transit "Aureole Effect" 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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Quest To Measure the Venus Transit "Aureole Effect"

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  • by kh31d4r ( 2591021 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @05:09AM (#40217369)
    I hate the fake kind:-(
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RivenAleem ( 1590553 )

      They don't give out cake for fake science.

    • by jouassou ( 1854178 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @05:38AM (#40217455)
      You mean the astrologists that use the Venus transit to predict a revolution [midlandssc...logy.co.uk]?
      • 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.

      • 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 k

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

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

    • 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.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @08:08AM (#40217947) Journal

      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.

  • Who is this chick Venus and why is she driving a Transit?
  • So Venus has like a big glowing nipple or something? That's weird.

  • Does Venus have her nipples pierced?

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @07:53AM (#40217887) Homepage Journal

    ...was not disappointed.

  • Bummer

    Just have to commit to living to 150 years then

    Where's my jogging shoes?

    • by necro81 ( 917438 )
      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.
    • 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 are

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )


      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.

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      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?

      • 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

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          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

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            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 C

        • 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 emuls

          • lol

            thank you

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

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              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 wer

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

  • 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

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2012 @10:06AM (#40218887) Homepage

      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.

    • 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.
    • A saucepam

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

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

  • "famous titties for $600, alex!"
  • “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.”

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

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."