I thought an intellectual pursuit might jump-start the brain juices, so I convinced some neighbors to pick me up from work yesterday and boogie up to Kenner to watch the planet Venus pass between Earth and the sun.
Much like a total eclipse of the heart, this event is special, rare, and enhanced greatly by the presence of men with telescopic insight into the soul (of the universe).
|Photo by CJ Butler|
"It's just not fair!" he exclaimed. "They said Pluto's a planet and they need to stick with that. They said it doesn't clean out its orbit like the other planets, but big deal."
"Like a teenage planet?" I asked.
"Something like that," Ron affirmed.
Chatting with Ron's friend George, we learned that welder's goggles offer a gauge of sunlight filtration that, while not recommended for extensive solar viewing, will do in a pinch.
"I can still see," reported George as he gazed steadfastly at the sun through his futuristic eyewear. "For now."
Though the sun was covered by clouds for most of the time we were out there, it eventually did make an appearance with a Venus-shaped freckle on the side of its face.
Different telescopes - which the astronomers graciously lent use of to the adoring public (me, my two neighbors, and a handful of other people, including the aptly named "Joe Rocket") - offered a variety of perspectives. The photo above was taken through the viewing lens of one of these magical machines, one of which allowed the observer to see bright red solar flares around the edge of the sun.
Don't worry if you missed out - you can catch Venus in transit next time on December 10, 2117.