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Unorthodox Thoughts

chewing gum for the mind

transit of Venus

The Transit of Venus against our Sun will be viewable June 5-6th, 2012. This won’t happen again during our lives.

As I discuss in the post below on Sun myths, humans have studied the sky and Earth over long periods of time to look for patterns.  Some ancient cultures recorded those patterns as they were important for planting, harvesting, navigation and many other activities.

Today, observers of the heavens have much better tools at their disposal than those available thousands of years ago.  The use of telescopes has helped us to understand the last few hundred years pretty well and the patterns, such as sun spots, that allow future solar activity to be predicted.

2012 affords us some rare and interesting sky gazing opportunities.  Starting this week, and especially on May 5th (Saturday night), a Super Full Moon will be viewable.  This is the closest pass of the Moon to Earth (356,954 km) since 1912.

There is the Transit of Venus across the Sun that will be partially viewable on June 5th in the evening from North America and in Europe the whole transit will be viewable on the 6th.  This is a very rare conjunction of Earth, Venus and the Sun, which will line up in a near-perfect alignment and will not happen again during our lifetimes.

2004 Transit of Venus

The Solar Maximum for Solar Cycle 24 will peak late this year and early next year, which will result in increased activity from solar storms.  For those of us in North America, these solar storms could have attributed to our warm weather this Winter and the warmest March on record, when warm air flowed from the Gulf of Mexico Northeast through the central and New England states.  In contrast, Alaska, Europe and parts of Russia experienced their coldest Winter in what was perhaps hundreds of years.

As I have stated in the post below, our Sun’s poles are becoming asymmetric this month which has turned out to be a big surprise for scientists.  I have found a few more articles talking about this, but for now I think everyone is just watching and waiting before they comment.  This asymmetry is believed to have last happened during the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715.  (read more in the post below on Sun myths)

If you go looking for evidence of solar effects on the planet, there is a general trend of science to downplay the role of the Sun as compared to the effects humans are contributing to such as increased levels of CO2.  There is evidence, as I point out in my post below, that our Sun’s magnetic field has an effect on weather here on Earth.  It seems that an increase of solar activity helps stop incoming cosmic rays.  Increased cosmic ray activity (seen in the Space Environment Overview chart within this post) can be linked to creating low precipitation clouds which have a cooling effect on our planet.  Solar cycle 25 (beginning in 2020 or so) is predicted to be the weakest solar cycle in roughly 300 years.

I agree that humans are destroying habitat too fast, burning way too much fossil fuels and are probably already exceeding the carrying capacity of our planet.  However, I am certain that our Sun, moon, planets and asteroids that make up our solar system and galaxy do have an effect on our planets’ ecosystem over time.  Recent discoveries are showing that as our solar system moves through our galaxy, it sometimes comes close to supernovae remnants and that there is a correlation to life thriving on Earth when that happens.

To say that Earth exists in some human-controlled vacuum where we have much more influence than earthquakes, volcanoes and the cycles of our Sun is arrogant.  After all, the Sun is 1,000,000 times the size of Earth and is essentially a giant nuclear explosion held together by gravity and magnetism.

To wrap up this post, I thought it would be fun to post some images related to Sun worship:

from wikipedia

Sun Obelisks

Great Seal and Horus, Sun GodSun RayJapanese Flag - Sun


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