Venus transit a reminder of solar system’s size

By | June 6, 2012

venus crossing the sun

Filtering the sun’s light to a minuscule fraction of its true power allowed sky-gazers around the world to watch a silhouetted Venus travel across Earth’s closest star, an extremely rare spectacle that served as a reminder of how tiny our planet really is.

After all, the next transit is 105 years away — likely beyond all of our lifetimes but just another dinky speck in the timeline of the universe.

“I’m sad to see Venus go,” electrical engineer Andrew Cooper of the W.M. Keck Observatory told viewers watching a webcast of the transit’s final moments as seen from the nearly 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Kea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

From Maui to Mumbai, Mexico to Norway, much of the world watched the 6-hour, 40-minute celestial showcase through special telescopes, live streams on the Internet or with the naked eye through cheap cardboard glasses. …

via SunTimes

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