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Re: Bright star
Posted by Dennis Fisher on February 7, 2017, 1:46 pm, in reply to "Re: Bright star"
After the sun and the Moon Venus is the third brightest object in our skies. It is so bright that I was able to see it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on a bright sunny day on a hike in the Grand Canyon. You might wonder how I thought to look for it at that time of the day. Well it was so hot and so difficult to find water that I took a break in the middle of the day by laying down in a little bit of shade. I had been seeing Venus every evening on my hike and had a rough idea about where it might be. So sure enough I looked up and search for it and there it was. How did I get the idea to look for it in the middle of the day? I had read the novel Mason-Dixon by Thomas Pynchon in which was described the methodology used by those two Englishmen to set the state line boundary I believe between Pennsylvania and Maryland. Those two men had returned from South Africa after participating in observing the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. They use highly accurate chronometers, highly accurate for that time in the 17 hundreds, and matched information with other observers in other parts of the world to determine how far away the sun was from the Earth, or something like that. I had been a Transit operator on survey Crews and found really fascinating the methods that might be used in this line of work. So how they got their starting point in North America was to create a shady shelter in which they could lay and at the appropriate moment observe a few of the planets and then they could calculate exactly where they were on the face of our planet. That led me to reason that if I looked hard enough and kept my hands cupped around my eyes perhaps I could see the brightest planet myself in the middle of the day. I also saw the planet Venus in the middle of the day just a few years ago in the Pacific Northwest. It was transiting the Sun for the second time in about eight years. It won't do that again in our lifetimes. It was a cold heavily overcast rainy day and we thought our chances of observing the transit were nil. But I knew that there is often an opening in the clouds made by Mount Olympus. So we drove towards that direction and sure enough we found that opening and we observed the transit.
- Bright star - Martin February 6, 2017, 8:35 pm
- Re: Bright star - Sandy S February 6, 2017, 8:47 pm
- Re: Bright star - Dobie February 6, 2017, 8:55 pm
- Re: Bright star - Pablo February 6, 2017, 9:10 pm
- Re: Bright star - Sally February 7, 2017, 9:08 am
- Re: Bright star - Dennis Fisher February 7, 2017, 1:46 pm
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