Thursday, June 14, 2012

A week ago Tuesday we gathered with friends to watch the transit of Venus across the sun. It doesn’t happen very often that Venus passes between the sun and the earth – Tuesday was only the second time in just over 100 years. In 1639, it was such an important event scientifically that scientists and observers went all over the world to record the time that Venus began crossing the sun and the time that it finished the crossing. Scientists hoped to determine the distance from the earth to the sun using those measurements. In 2012, although many people did, we did not take measurements. We ate a picnic dinner beside our oat field, watched the sun through filtered binoculars, and talked - an important opportunity to enjoy the evening and to decrease the distance between friends.

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