[FPSPACE] Transit of Venus: implications?
ljk4 at msn.com
Thu Jun 10 08:12:36 EDT 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: John M. McMahon<mailto:mcmahon at LEMOYNE.EDU>
To: HASTRO-L at LISTSERV.WVU.EDU<mailto:HASTRO-L at LISTSERV.WVU.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 7:52 AM
Subject: [HASTRO-L] Transit of Venus: implications?
Here's a nice post-transit piece on the intellectual implications of the
"Cosmologists, one transit at a time"
"Now that Venus¹s moment in the sun ... well, its 6.4 hours of transit ..
is over, don¹t let this much awaited event slip out of your mental orbit.
Truth be told, the black punch-out in the smiley face of our solar system's
heat source that millions witnessed on Tuesday is such a simple yet profound
image, that I hope it ripens into a much more lasting consideration of
humanity's place in the cosmos.
Since Einstein's famous equation, physics has become cosmology and cosmology
has become physics. By the simple act of watching the image of Venus
replicate a moving eye-patch across a giant fireball I trust that
cosmologists sprang up all over the world as well."
"Seeing this one slice of Venus's orbit pass in front of the Sun easily
suggests our own Earth's orbit around the Sun. The more one studies the
orbits of planets, the gravitational pull of the Sun, the fact that our
solar system acts like a planet in our Milky Way galaxy, and that our galaxy
works in turn like a planet around other galaxies, and then again as a
cluster of galaxies around other clusters of galaxies, our humanity impels
us to stop and ponder our place in it all."
JMM / LMC
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