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tonyburton


May 29, 2012, 7:58 AM

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Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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Next week, clear skies permitting, a Transit of Venus will be visible from all of Mexico (as well as the US, parts of Canada, etc).
For more information about the June 5/6 transit:
http://www.transitofvenus.org/

Such events are rare. This will likely be the last chance to see it in your lifetime since the next transit will be in more than 100 years time!

Mexico’s first international scientific expedition took place in 1874 and was to Japan to study the Transit of Venus that occurred in that year.



Sculptari

May 30, 2012, 9:01 AM

Post #2 of 9 (3858 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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What a fascinating event to learn about - and a great linked website too.
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La Isla


May 30, 2012, 10:31 AM

Post #3 of 9 (3846 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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Next week, clear skies permitting, a Transit of Venus will be visible from all of Mexico (as well as the US, parts of Canada, etc).
For more information about the June 5/6 transit:
http://www.transitofvenus.org/

Such events are rare. This will likely be the last chance to see it in your lifetime since the next transit will be in more than 100 years time!

Mexico’s first international scientific expedition took place in 1874 and was to Japan to study the Transit of Venus that occurred in that year.


I wonder if one reason Mexican scientists went all the way to Japan in 1874 is the importance Venus had in Mesoamerican religion and astronomy: "Mesoamerican astronomy included a broad understanding of the cycles of planets and other celestial bodies. Special importance was given to the sun, moon, and Venus as the morning and evening star".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesoamerican_mythology#Mythology_and_worldview


tonyburton


May 30, 2012, 11:22 AM

Post #4 of 9 (3834 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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Interesting question, and a good link to Mesoamerican astronomy.
However, in the pre-telescope era, relatively few heavenly bodies could be easily observed, so that rather limited the possible items of interest to ancient astronomers.
I think the 1874 expedition owes more to a growing sense of Mexican nationalism and the realization that there was much to be gained from a "globalization" of scientific research.
And, if such events allowed you to travel the world, expenses (or some of them) paid, then so much the better!

Aside:
Did you know? Mexico's ancient astronomers had sophisticated calendars


(This post was edited by tonyburton on May 30, 2012, 11:31 AM)


Sculptari

May 30, 2012, 11:26 AM

Post #5 of 9 (3831 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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That must have been a fascinating aspect of travel in the old days - waking up under a night sky much different than the one you are used to. I would miss the tropical night skies if I left Mexico now. Venus is so much larger, and seems to move much faster than my previous lat 49. Also the shadow of the moon is different, what we call a 'new moon' in the north is called a 'fingernail moon' in the tropics because it goes from the bottom of the moon up. Here is one article written by an amateur astronomer visiting Costa Rica http://www.lcas-astronomy.org/articles/display.php?filename=night_in_the_tropics&category=observing_trips
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GringoCArlos

Jun 1, 2012, 12:50 PM

Post #6 of 9 (3760 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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Thank you for posting this, Tony. My daughter enjoys and is learning to appreciate the shows above us. Not many people look up anymore as they are too focused on what's in front of their feet all of the time.


morgaine7


Jun 1, 2012, 2:57 PM

Post #7 of 9 (3748 views)

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Re: [GringoCArlos] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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In 2004 when I was still living in Egypt, a group of astronomers from the University of Sonora at Hermosillo came all the way to Cairo to view a Venus transit that was visible from there but apparently not from here. They set up on the lawn of the university where I was working (with permission, of course) and filmed the entire thing. We were able to stream some of it via the servers in the computer center. The Mexican ambassador and other VIPs turned up for the event, which BTW was what first prompted me to think about retiring in Mexico.

Kate


tonyburton


Jun 1, 2012, 3:15 PM

Post #8 of 9 (3743 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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Wow! That's a great story. I'm glad you got to see it and were able to help the astronomers. Both Baja California Sur and Sonora are good places for astronomers, having the advantage over most of central and southern Mexico of clear skies most of the year. And, yes, indeed, transits of Venus always come in pairs, about 8 years apart.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for clear skies in the UK next week, where I'll be arriving jetlagged the day before, and expect to be wide awake at 5 am the following morning...


(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jun 1, 2012, 3:23 PM)


morgaine7


Jun 1, 2012, 6:14 PM

Post #9 of 9 (3713 views)

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Re: [tonyburton] Transit of Venus visible from Mexico, June 5, 2012

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You can find more information about this year's transit here, en español:
http://www.astro.uson.mx/transito-2012
It says there will be a live transmission from the Universidad de Sonora's observatory, and apparently they're also sending an expedition to Hawaii.

The event in Cairo took place on 8 June 2004 and began in early morning, so nothing was visible except via the internet transmission or by looking through one of their filtered telescopes, which I was privileged to be able to do. They were very generous about sharing the experience with interested staff and students. The equipment was quite impressive!

Kate
 
 
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