There is an astronomical event next week that you should really try to see. It happens in 8-year offset pairs and then a gap of over a century – it’s the transit of Venus. A transit of a planet is when it passes in between the Sun and the Earth. Due to the orbital geometries, Venus does two transits eight years apart and then the next pair happen over a century later. The last pair took place in 1874 and 1882 and the first part of the current pair took place back in 2004 with the next transit to take place next week. After that, you’ll have to wait until 2117 and 2125 – a pair that GorT has already seen, it was awesome, but a pair that the rest of you might not be around to witness.
GorT will likely watch this event with his replicants – in fact, the science teacher at the parochial school that the youngest two replicants attend might make it a bonus assignment as she is a big astronomy fan. For us in North America, the transit is partially visible and we can observe it as the Sun is setting. For all the details, including how to watch it safely (DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN) I refer you to the excellent blog, Bad Astronomy. Read up – there are plenty of resources and links. It is a rare event that shouldn’t be missed. If anything, it should provide some perspective. Consider that the Sun is 115 times wider than Venus but since Venus is about 100 million km closer to Earth, Venus will appear to be about 1/30th of the Sun.
For those of us in the Washington, DC area, the transit begins at 22:03:48 UTC which is 10:03:48pm. But wait, that’s after sunset, right? No. UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) is 4 hours offset from Eastern Daylight Time, so it will start at 6:03:48pm EDT and end at 6:21:27pm. The Sun should be about 25 degrees above the horizon. Other cities times are available here.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.