Latest posts by Rikki-Tikki-Deadly (see all)
- Your “The Sun Rises on the Factory” Saturday Morning Open Thread – February 16, 2019
- Request Line: Duets – February 15, 2019
- Request Line: Coffee is for Closers – February 8, 2019
This morning featured a relatively rare astronomical event – the transit of Mercury. A transit is basically the same thing as an eclipse, except whatever is crossing in front of the sun is small enough that it doesn’t block out the whole thing. The first transit I saw was of Venus on June 8, 2004. It’s sort of a special memory for me; I was bartending in South Africa at the time (if you ever want to ruin your perception of what “normal life” should be like, you should try spending a year of your life casually “working” in a subtropical beach town with great surf and frequent female tourist visitors) and one of the locals set up a pair of binoculars so it projected the sun onto a sheet of paper. I was kind of overwhelmed by the scope of it; Venus is visible as a tiny little dot against the big round disc of the sun. I watched the next one in 2012 from a park in Pasadena with some better tools, but it didn’t have quite the same sense magic to it as the first time. This morning’s transit of Mercury (which are surprisingly rare, considering how quickly it orbits the sun) wouldn’t have been visible here thanks to the clouds (which have been hanging around all month, as commenter Unsurprised must have been surprised to discover during his visit), but there are plenty of places where it was, in case you want to check it out. I’m listening to the “Magic” edition of DFO radio right now and really enjoying it; I hope you do too!