Transit of Venus - Measuring the Solar System
On June 8, 2004 millions of people witnessed an event that no one still alive had ever seen: a transit of Venus. Another one will occur in June 2012 and then not again for over a hundred years. What is a transit of Venus? How did it help in working out the size of the Solar System?
*Titanic – the wrong stars*
Last week the newsletter had a link to a video based on astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson's answer to a question about the most astounding fact he could share with others. This week I have another video to recommend featuring Dr. Tyson.
Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic and a 3D version of James Cameron's film about was released - with a change from the original. In the original version as Rose lies on the driftwood staring at the stars, it's the *wrong* sky!
Dr. Tyson had pointed this out to the director more than once. Certainly it is odd that Cameron went to such lengths to recreate the furnishings, the china settings, the clothes and everything else for accuracy in the film. But didn't do the same with the night sky. Not only were the stars incorrect for the time the ship sank, but it didn't even represent a real sky. There was half a sky which was mirrored to fill in the rest..
Here is a link to a video in which Tyson tells the story. He's not only a very clever man but a great raconteur. The story is very funny. And it ended with him sending a planetarium shot of the correct night sky. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B6jSfRuptY&feature=player_embedded.
There are currently ten Pinterest boards with pictures that relate to astronomy articles from BellaOnline. They cover People in Astronomy, Amazing Solar System, Heavenly Aviaries, Constellations, Astronomy Places, Tales of the Northern Lights, Cats in the Sky, Space Exploration, Nebulae, Astronomy Valentines and the Transit of Venus. You can see them at http://pinterest.com/astrobella/.
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Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor