If you have been reading astronomical blogs, or, for people who aren’t virgins, if you’ve just happened to notice the occasional post on Facebook, then you may have learned that Venus — the second planet from the sun — will cross the sun at angle that will be viewable from planet Earth tonight.
Apparently this will not be seen again in 105 years after tonight.
OH MY GOD. I CARE SO MUCH. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT I CANNOT MISS AND I WILL STAND ON MY ROOF FOR HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES TO SEE IT.
If you could not tell, that was sarcasm. Sorry, but I can not muster the motivation to care about something that is occurring over one million kilometers above my head. And if I wanted to see a small black dot on a big yellow one, then I’ll draw it myself.
I understand that our universe is an absolutely remarkable thing. I understand that there are billions of galaxies inside billions of galaxies, and that inside each galaxy there are billions of universes, and that our existence is just one of a gajillion other existences out there. I understand that our universe, in comparison with the rest of all that exists, is a mere speck.
But how does it affect me? People are paid very well at NASA to discover these things, and find out what’s out there, and even they won’t make much progress in their lifetimes.
It doesn’t really concern me how rare it is. First of all, you hear almost every month about some type of eclipse, meteor shower, or planetary movement that happens “once every one hundred years.” So I think I can miss this one.
The BBC has this covered, and they even have a photo of what it looks like.
That picture is infinitely better than any view I could ever possibly get from anywhere else. For starters, I do not own a telescope because I am not a gigantic loser. I also don’t live in an open field. And the mere thought of traveling to a hill, or a field just so I can witness this is laughable.
Also, here’s a little tidbit from the BBC article:
This has happened only seven times in the telescopic age: in 1631, 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and 2004.
Wait, what? This is so unbelievably rare, and yet — it happened eight years ago.
So let me get this straight. A 9-year-old child can be witnessing this “once in a lifetime occurrence” for the second time. Hmmm.
Again, I know that astronomy is interesting. But why should I care? Neither the sun, the moon, Venus, or Orion the Hunter are going to pay back my student loans. They are not going to put food on the table in front of me. There are more pressing needs in my life that I need to be more concerned with at the moment then whatever Venus is doing.
If you do have a passion for astronomy, then good for you. I truly hope you enjoy spending the night perched out in your driveway looking up at the sky for hours at a time. Whatever it takes to get your kicks.
Even if I just happened to be outside at the time, without an obstructed view, and somebody right next to me said, “Hey, check it out, you can see Venus right now!” Then maybe I would look up. I would at least think about it. I may possibly care enough to crane my head upward for a few moments just to check it out.
But why would I ever go outside? My television and my computer are inside.
So, yeah. I think I am going to pass on this one. But please let me know how it goes.
Actually, don’t. Because I don’t care.