Matt Potter 12:36 p.m., Aug. 4
- Community Blog
- San Diego Astronomy
So for science geeks like me, "Measurement" is the name of the game. We live for the numbers.
Here lies the basic explanation of how to measure distance from the earth to the Sun using parallax...
It turns out that there is another way too..
Venus does something you only see every 105.5 years... Due to a 3.5 degree inclination relative to the solar system equatorial plane, Venus only matches up with earth in line of site of the Sun every 105.5 years. (Hally's comet comes more often!)
And then when it does align, it does it twice in 8 years. Today was the second and last chance of "OUR" lifetime to witness Venus transiting the face of the SUN.
If you missed it. So did 7.1 billion other people.
But I didn't miss it. No sir, cuz I am a geek through and through. I had to know. And measuring this distance from the Earth to Sun using the Venus transit is something you can do personally, on your own, with no voices in your head. That's right folks, screw reading about it, you can do it. And with a phone app no less!
Or more formally,
Now guys like me believe that the book of God is written in the mathematics that describe the functioning of the Universe. And when the Universe delivers a transit, well then its time to break out the measuring stick and have some fun with God's favorite language.
And today we did some MATH's.
And for those of my friends that think this is totally way geek.
A once in a lifetime event. With meaning for a few. And not so much for most.
You all can breathe easy, we won't be plunging into the Sun anytime soon...
According to the numbers...
More like this:
- The Taurid Meteor Shower and the Planet Venus — Nov. 4, 2010
- Measure Trees with the Sun — Feb. 18, 2010
- Where's Venus These Days? — Jan. 7, 2010
- Ocean Temps, Lupines, Tree Heights and No Moon on Valentine's Day — Feb. 11, 2009
- Stalking the Venus Shadow — Feb. 11, 1993