This is one of those rarest occasions that astronomers of various disciplines(astrophotography, astroart, astrophysics, etc) from across the globe shared one view, the sky. The limit? Ultraviolet radiation. The event? Transit of Venus.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at the Rizal Park marks the last Transit of Venus from its 140year cycle. The next one will be on December 11, 2117 which by then, either we have found an immortality capsule by tapping the powers of Telomerase enzymes or may have discovered the marvels of time travel without the repose of quantum feedback.
This is the only event that make me woke up really early, had me on my toes at around 3:30AM. Our assembly time is 4:30AM.
The event was covered by lots of people from the news sector, European Press Agency, Associated Press, German Press Agency, AHA TV Show and Umagang Kay Ganda with Andrei Felix and Venus Raj doing the interview.
By 7:00AM, people started flocking in and asking some questions which I graciously accommodate. I will have to translate them from Filipino to English for everyone's understanding. I will reiterate the top 5 questions to my recollection.
1) How many hours will it last. When can we see the peak. When can we see the next Transit of Venus.
***It will last for about 6hours and the peak(greatest transit) would be on 9:49AM. By then, you can see a small dot in the face of the Sun close to its intermediary point. This is an epiphany of duality, the first one being on June 8, 2004, an 8-year interval per cycle of 120years.
2) What other planets will do the same. Is it only Venus?
***Mercury is a common transitionary object, having occurred 14 times per century, the last one was 2006 and the next will be 2016.
3) What effects does this Transit of Venus have on us.
***The effect? It had me risen up early in the morning. Hahaha. Kidding aside there is NOTHING. Venus is so far away and is so small that its gravitational effect is similarly small and insignificant to us.
4) Are there people in Venus? Or were there any?
***Even if we don't probe its distant past, I highly doubt that there are any. Venus, derived from the Goddess of Love, has no lovable features in it. It has a densest atmosphere, 90% denser than ours, and contained greenhouse gases, 97% Carbon Dioxide and 3% Nitrogen. In totality, the Earth may have had the same Carbon Dioxide content with Venus but our Carbon Dioxide volumes are deposited in granite materials. That is why you have a diamond ring you've to your Sweethearts. Although just the second planet closest to the Sun, Venus is even hotter than Mercury and if you touchdown, it will melt most of your solid substrates. Its temperature is close to a 400 degrees Centigrade. It is because its atmosphere trapped all radiation it gets from the Sun. Not only that, Venus has no magnetosphere. And its entire daytime can last up to 240days. It's a hell in Venus and I doubt any life-forms can thrive.
5) What good does this activity bring to our society as a whole.
***Activities like this will foster the young mind to pursue science in their field of endeavor. Science is engine of progress where technology is its tool. There are only two compelling branches of science right now that would spur excitement on the kids(or even any of us) , the science of the dinosaur and the science of the stars. The letdown with science of the dinosaurs is that we can't find any experimental materials around as large reptiles couldn't thrive in smaller land mass, so we don't have any fossil remains. The science of the stars is just perfect to our condition. So we can look up the sky and study its composition, spectral classification and metallicity level. The astronomy is catalyst for our country to propel and be globally competitive.