Venus in Sole Visa
Tuesday night as Dan and I were driving home from buying our sweet new Keen sandals-which are totally awesome by the way- Dan was overcome by a sudden fit of anxiety. Okay, that’s somewhat over dramatic, but he did start looking around all of the sudden and slowing down the car. “We’re gonna miss the transit! We have to go find a spot to see it!” he said as he started driving in the opposite direction of our house.
For those of you who follow the news, you will probably recognize that Dan was talking about Tuesday’s transit of Venus in front of the sun. I am ashamed to say that I generally don’t pay any attention to the news so I had no idea what he was talking about, but of course he quickly explained and then I was just as excited to see it as he was. The transit of Venus is an extremely rare celestial event and won’t happen again until 2117, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that we won’t get the chance to see it again, though Carter might if he lives to be 107.
We quickly found a spot with an unobstructed view of the sun, which would have been difficult if we had waited any longer, but then realized that we didn’t have anything with us to be able to view the transit. You can’t look directly into the sun and see anything of course, and we had nothing (that we know of) to make a shadow viewing. We were somewhat dejected as we headed home to look at pictures of it on the internet, I know…super lame, right?
Luckily, on the way home we spotted an older gentleman standing outside with a camera pointed directly at the sun. We were hesitant to stop, but figured there wasn’t any harm in asking if he was looking at the transit. I’m so glad we did! Apparently, this man had an intense camera with a lens that filters out everything but 1/10th of 1% of the sun’s light, specifically for viewing events like this and solar eclipses. We got an amazing first hand look at Venus crossing the sun, and it was definitely worth the trouble, much better than watching it on a screen, that’s for sure.
As we were looking through his camera, the gentleman told us all about his trips to Mexico and Switzerland and a bunch of other places he had been just to view celestial events. As we drove away, Dan and I started talking about how cool it is that this guy is willing to spend so much time and energy for just a few minutes of something that he loves. He isn’t content to sit on the sidelines and let someone else experience life for him. It’s always nice to find a kindred spirit.
Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.