Google+

Venus Crosses The Sun, Only A Day Away…

If you aren’t looking up towards the sun tomorrow with the proper eye equipment, then a special moment is going to pass you by.

The Transit of Venus is taking place on Tuesday, and it will not be seen again until 2117.

The transits of Venus occur in pairs once every 100 years, so this upcoming transit is the last until the next generation gets their opportunity.

Astronaut Don Pettit is up in the International Space Station armed with a camera and a solar filter, ready to start snapping photos of the transit from space.

“I’ve been planning this for a while,” Pettit, who serves as Flight Engineer onboard the International Space Station, said in a press release. “I knew the Transit of Venus would occur during my rotation, so I brought a solar filter with me when my expedition left for the ISS in December 2011.”

The expedition 31 crew aboard the station will be the first people in history to see a Venus transit from space.

Petit will be pointing his camera through the side windows of the space station’s observatory module.

“For this transit, Don will be removing the non-optical quality, internal protective window panes known as ‘scratch panes,’ which really make crisp, sharp, and clear images impossible,” Mario Runco, Jr. of the Johnson Space Center, said in a press release. “Removing those panes is a huge plus when it comes to details that will be seen in the imagery of the sun.”

Pettit said he will be using a Nikon D2X camera with an 800mm lens to capture the solar event.

The last Transit of Venus was back in 2004, and astronauts did not witness the transit because they did not have the proper equipment to view the sun back then.

During Tuesday’s transit, Venus will only be covering a small portion of the Sun, so viewers need to use solar filters in order to capture images of the event.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) will be observing the transit to help calibrate its instruments, as well as learn more about Venus’ atmosphere.

SDO will be able to use the unique opportunity to make sure its images are oriented to solar North when pointing at the sun.

The team using SDO will also use the lightless center of Venus to help calibrate the point spread function of the telescope.  This function describes how much light leaks from one pixel into others around it.

“Venus is a fascinating yet horrendously extreme place all at once,” Sue Smrekar, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a press release.  “Although the surface is hot enough to melt lead due to its runaway greenhouse atmosphere, in many respects it is Earth’s twin [size, gravity and bulk composition].”

Venus is the third brightness object in the sky because its orbit brings it closest to Earth of all the planets.

Scientists will be able to understand more about Venus’ atmosphere as it becomes partially transparent to the telescope on SDO Tuesday.

The transit will also help scientists understand a little more in their hunt for exoplanets.  When observing these planets, scientists look for a dip in the amount of light coming towards Earth, which is caused by a planet transiting between its star and Earth.

Scientists will be able to get a better picture and detail of what to look for when future exoplanets transit in front of their stars.

Modern scientists are not the only ones who used the transit to study the nearby planet, the Babylonians wrote about seeing the transit back in 1600 B.C.

“Throughout history, Venus has been one of the most studied and speculated-about celestial bodies in our sky, and the same truth will hold well after this transit is over,” Smrekar said in the press release. “Venus is a remarkable world with many lessons for us about the climate and interior of Earth and Earth-like planets in other solar systems.”

Tomorrow’s transit will only be visible in its entirety in the western Pacific, eastern Asia, eastern Australia and high northern latitudes.

The transit will begin in the afternoon hours of June 5, and will last until June 6 for European countries as the sun rises.

Source: RedOrbit

Entertainment

For movies opening December 9, 2016

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening December 9, 2016 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Bounce Back (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality and brief drug use) Romantic comedy about a charismatic relationship guru (Shemar Moore) who falls in love with a skeptical fellow therapist (Nadine Velazquez) he meets while on a book tour promoting his new best seller. Supporting cast … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Paging Norman Rockwell

  Paging Norman Rockwell by Amy Lignor   For those who may not have had the pleasure before – and all you true Christmas “classic” lovers who have always wanted to see it – Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is the most brilliant and beautiful place during the holiday season. Made famous by the original Norman Rockwell, whose museum is part of the line of historic buildings making up that classic Main Street, Stockbridge is dressed up … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards

  Winterization Tips from Yamaha Outboards By Craig Lamb Every hardcore angler wants to go fishing at the first sign of warm weather in spring. The last thing any fisherman wants is cutting a trip short because of mechanical problems with an outboard engine.   The best way to avoid problems, and enjoy trouble-free time on the water, is by preparing ahead of time. That begins now. Preparing for extended storage efficiently and effectively … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

We Are Still…All in This Together!

  We Are Still…All in This Together! by Amy Lignor   December 7, 1941. Sunday morning was lovely on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. A typical Sunday, in fact, where people were moving calmly and in a relaxed “weekend-mode” stance at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Headquarters. Just before the clocks struck 8:00 a.m., however, the country of Japan launched planes from six aircraft carriers in what would be considered the “first wave” of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]