Anorak News | Sic Transit Gloria

Sic Transit Gloria

by | 12th, May 2004

‘THERE’S less than four weeks to go and we at Anorak can’t wait.

An artist’s impression of what the transit will look like

No, not for the final episode of Friends, the one in which they all get gunned down by a psychopath on the loose in New York, nor even for the start of Big Brother.

In the morning of June 8 (cloud permitting) we will all have the chance to see for the first time since 1283 the planet Venus moving across the face of the Sun.

The Independent says that anyone with a projection telescope (most of us) and a piece of card, or access to the internet, will be able to witness the ‘transit’.

What we will see in the unlikely event of it being clear that day is a small black disc crossing over the face of the Sun.

A similar effect can of course be achieved by getting a fly to walk across the lens of your telescope, and the fly is likely to get to the other side a lot quicker than Venus.

According to the paper, the transit will start at about 6.20am and finish at 12.04pm – and Gordon Brumage, professor of astronomy at the University of Central Lancashire, is as excited as us at the prospect.

‘It’s an extremely rare astronomical event,’ he says. ‘It’s a very special period of six hours and will link people across the world.’

But don’t worry if you miss it – transits are like buses. You wait 721 years for one and two come almost at once. The next will take place in 2247, a mere 243 years away.’

Posted: 12th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink