Science

10:49am

Tue June 5, 2012
The Two-Way

How The Transit Of Venus Helped Unlock The Universe

Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 7:46 am

The planet Venus is seen crossing the sun in June 2004 as photographed through a telescope at Planetarium Urania in Hove, Belgium. The earliest known observation of such a transit was in 1639 by English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

In an age when the size of the observable universe is known to a few decimal places, today's Transit of Venus offers a good opportunity to reflect on just how far we've come.

(For viewing information, click here.)

Less than 250 years ago, the brightest minds of the Enlightenment were stumped over how far the Earth is from the sun. The transits of the 1760s helped answer that question, providing a virtual yardstick for the universe.

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12:57am

Tue June 5, 2012
Space

Rare Transit Of Venus 'A Beautiful Event'

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 10:11 am

Venus passes between Earth and the sun during its last transit on June 8, 2004, as seen from Manila, Philippines. The next transit of Venus will be in 2117.
Bullit Marquez AP

A rare astronomical event will take place Tuesday evening: The planet Venus will pass between Earth and the sun, appearing as a small black dot moving across the sun's bright disk. It's known as the transit of Venus, and it won't happen again for more than 100 years.

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4:44pm

Mon June 4, 2012
Science

Telescope Still Exposed, But Damage Not as Bad as First Thought

Strong winds over the winter severely damaged the dome on top of the Mount Evans observatory.
Nathan Heffel KUNC

The early word is that it could have been worse. The steel and aluminum dome atop the Mount Evans observatory was destroyed by high winds over the winter. But damage to the telescope inside may not be as bad as first thought.

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9:00am

Mon June 4, 2012
The Two-Way

As Venus Transits The Face Of The Sun, Here's How To Safely Watch

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 12:53 pm

Safety over style: In 2006, a Palestinian man and boy were careful to protect their eyes while watching a partial eclipse of the sun. The same cautions are in order for Venus' transit of the sun on Tuesday.
Saif Dahlah AFP/Getty Images

DO NOT STARE AT THE SUN.

Is that clear enough?

As we looked this morning for good guides about how to safely watch on Tuesday as Venus passes across the face of the sun, there was no escaping the stern warnings about what NOT to do.

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7:07am

Mon June 4, 2012
Krulwich Wonders...

The Chumbawamba Principle: A Commencement Address

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 11:22 am

Robert Krulwich delivers the commencement address at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, on June 2.
Jason P. Smith College of the Atlantic

This is a commencement address I gave this weekend at the College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. It's a small, highly interdisciplinary liberal arts college that I much admire. This is my talk to the graduating class.


OK. Finally you are at the door.

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