Tuesday, June 05, 2012

"Venus Is Too Close…"

The words in the title of this post were spoken by one of my favorite all-time television characters portrayed by the late Carroll O'Connor-- Chief William O. "Bill" Gillespie on "In The Heat of the Night."  At the end of the episode "Bounty Hunter," the Gillespie was telling one of his officers that weird things happen when Venus comes too close to Earth.

Venus (black dot, lower right) transits
in front of the Sun on June 5, 2012.
Click photo for larger view.
This isn't weird, but is pretty darn cool.  As I write this posting, Venus is passing in front of the Sun, visible to us here on Earth.  Venus is the big black dot you see on the lower right of the Sun.  I'm watching a live stream of the event provided by the University of South Carolina's Melton Memorial Observatory as seen through the specially filtered lens of a telescope.  Folks, this won't happen again for 105 years!  If I live to see the next Venus transit, as the event is called, I will be 152 years old.  Now, that would truly be weird!

Oh, Good Evening!