The Dow Jones Industrial Average, iconic thermometer of the U.S. stock market, ended the week up.

The 2012 campaign heated up as Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican nominee, pounced on President Obama’s statement that “the private sector is doing fine.”

Last week, America’s Got Talent¬†was the highest rated program with adult viewers 18 to 49.

Innocent men, women, and children continue to be killed in Syria, yet another example of a despotic government.

Our dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis. Two days into her 28-day antibiotic prescription, she is back to normal.

This week’s weather seemed unseasonably cool and rainy.

Oh, and Tuesday, Venus transited the sun — for the last time this century. The geometry of the Earth’s and Venus’ orbits about the Sun define that transits occur in pairs eight years apart, then not again for 121.5 and 105.5 years. (What a great example for a geometry class!)

The advances of medicine notwithstanding, it’s unlikely that anyone alive today will witness the next transits in 2117 and 2125, just as we weren’t around for the 1874 and 1882 transits. Ulysses S. Grant was U.S. President in 1874, James Garfield in 1884.

The first recorded observation of the transit was in 1639, 373 years ago. The transit was used to determine the distance between the earth and the sun — unknown until then.

The Earth is 93-million miles from the sun. Venus is 67-million miles. Venus, known as both the evening and morning star in our night sky, is but a tiny circular disk as it passes the sun.

Thanks to Venus and NASA for providing a bit of perspective, lest we be too absorbed by ourselves.

Read more about the geometry and the human history of the transit of Venus on Wikipedia.

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2 Responses to Perspective

  1. Burns Fisher says:

    I think it is interesting what science-related events seem to interest people the most. I can understand eclipses…they are so obvious when you are in the path. But this is really pretty subtle. But even in the previous pair, in the 1800s there is was a lot of interest. To the extent that John Phillip Sousa wrote The Transit of Venus March in honor of the occasion.

  2. Gary says:

    Pretty cool that Sousa wrote a march to honor the event. Thanks for sharing.

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