Monday, June 4, 2012

I Don't Know How To Put This...

But the TRANSIT OF VENUS is Kind of A Big Deal.

Now as a meteorologist, people assume I know everything about stars, planets, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.  That is false.  Meteorology is the study of weather...although I've had more than 2 guys that asked me what it's like to study rocks from outer space.  For real.
Since I am NOT an expert on the topic, I will pass along the e-mail I received from a real expert.  I asked Wayne Harris-Wyrick the Director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium what this is all about.  He said, "It starts just after 5:30 CDT and at sunset, Venus is barely halfway across the sun's disk, meaning we miss it when Venus "exits" the sun.  The next such event visible from Oklahoma occurs December 10, 2125.
Venus is just at the limit of human eye resolution.  With proper solar viewing material, one could just discern it is a dot on the sun's surface.  "Proper solar viewing material" is something very few people will have at home.  With a No. 14 or darker welder's glasses, you can safely view it, or if you have solar eclipse glasses.  We will have properly filtered telescope in our parking lot all that afternoon for folks to see it.  Along with some irregularly-shaped sunspots, you'll see Venus is a perfectly round, if small, dot."
You can see a simulation of this event at"

I will be talking about this tomorrow afternoon during the 4, 4:30, 5, 6, and 6:30 newscasts so make sure to tune in.  If you are not in the Oklahoma City viewing area, you can always watch our newscasts live at

Okay, for real, the next entry will be about the Sprint TRI from last Saturday.  Have a great week everyone and happy VENUS TRANSIT viewing.  Remember DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE SUN!

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