Monday, June 18, 2012

A bit more on the transit of Venus

A couple more fun things on the Transit of Venus.

First, a blog post about actually using measurements to calculate the distance to the Sun: Easter Island Transit of Venus, by David Rodriguez.

I particularly like this plot, showing the timing measurement versus position relative to the centre of the Earth:

And the calculation isn't bad, 151+/-20 million km. Only a factor of 10 error larger than the best scientists in the world could do in the 18th century.

 Also really neat is this 3D image made by Peter Lawrence (@Advertvision on twitter) which uses image of the transit taken almost simultaneously in the northern Norway (by Pete) and Australia (by expert imager Paul Hause). You can see the parallax of Venus on the disc of the Sun with your own eye, and use red-green 3D glasses to see it in 3D. Must find a pair... :)

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