In a way I am almost looking forward to heading back to the office tomorrow so that I can get a bit of a break - this was a very busy and eventful weekend, starting with the Roger Waters concert on Friday and ending with an impressive chore list that had us running around for much of today.
[Since I did not get around to posting this last night...]
Today we went up to the park and caught the transit of Venus along with a couple of thousand other locals.
There were a few dozen binoculars, cameras, and telescopes ranging from amateur to semi-professional set up for the crowds. While some folk were content to stand in long lines for a glimpse into the eyepiece of the larger telescopes, people were ignoring the smaller telescopes - many of which were set up to project the image for easier viewing.
A couple of the people manning the lonely smaller telescopes commented on that, and I snidely replied, "Yes, because you need a huge telescope in order to properly view the largest object in the solar system which is also comparatively close."
This was the projected image from one of the smaller telescopes. The sun put out a few nice sunspots for our viewing as well. I played a bit dumb with the owner of this telescope when I overheard somebody ask him if there were others who might be getting a better view of the event. He said that people on the west coast, and/or in Hawaii would be getting a better view because they could watch the entire event. I chimed in and said, "Also, they're closer."
He corrected me in a long-suffering tone that suggested he had heard his fair share of stupid that day, but I dug in stubbornly. I pointed across the field toward the setting sun and said, "If we crossed this field, we would be closer. It may not matter much in the cosmic scale of things, but people further west - especially where it's still noon - are closer to the sun than we are right now."
He reluctantly agreed, but I think he figured out by then that I was pulling his leg. He seemed honestly impressed when I added, "It's also a little humbling when you stop and think about it. That planet is almost as big as ours, yet it is still just a little dot against the sun. It kind of puts things into scale, doesn't it?" He mentioned that of all the things he had heard people say today, I was the first to use that word to describe the event. That made me sad.
At my insistence we took along some binoculars and paper so that we could project our own image of the sun. It was laughably primitive compared to the other equipment there, but laugh all you want because it worked.
As we were leaving at around 8:30, people were still flocking in. I did not notice the kid in the astronaut costume until atara pointed him out later.
Here is a goose.