Monday, June 4, 2012

Predictions of the Venus transit in Hawaii

On June 5th, Venus will be visible moving in front of the sun and provide a show to those of us in Hawaii not seen since the last King of Hawaii sat on the throne. The transits of Venus occur in pairs eight years apart (this event’s twin event occurred in 2004) about every one hundred years. This unusual phenomena in the heavens will not be seen again until 2117.

From a Hawaii perspective, the transit of Venus has been prominent in the islands’ history. In 1769, Captain Cook first voyaged to the Pacific Ocean to observe the Venus transit and map the region from Australia to Hawaii. Ten years later, on his third and final voyage to the Pacific Ocean, he landed in Hawaii to observe the longitude of Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island and met his demise. One hundred years later, King David Kalakaua invited British astronomers to observe the Venus transit in Hawaii. Seven astronomers arrived in Honolulu Bay in 1874 with telescopes, chronometers, photographic chemicals,  equipment and supplies of all types for a six month expedition to record and photograph the Venus transit event. The astronomers set up observation areas in Honolulu, Kona, and in Waimea on Kauai. King Kalakaua, who had only recently been crowned, greeted the astronomers upon their arrival, but was in Washington DC during the transit to negotiate a treaty offering Pearl Harbor to the US in exchange for duty-free sales of sugar from the islands. Now, over one hundred years later, the telescopes atop Mauna Kea Volcano are prepared to view the Venus transit from the best place in the world to see the event in its entirety. The transit will start tomorrow, June 5, at 12:10 PM (Hawaii Standard Time) and the small black dot of Venus will be visible slowly moving across the sun’s surface for 6 hours until 6:45PM. It is not safe to look at the sun; you must have special glasses to observe the event.

We have been researching the meaning of this rare planetary event in Chinese and Western astrology. Surprisingly, both the Western and Eastern astrologists seemed to have missed the Venus transit events completely. It may be due to the extremely rare occurrences of visible Venus transits across the sun. Though the Chinese carefully monitored sun spots, they never mention Venus transits. The Greeks misattributed the transit of Venus to Mercury. The Europeans realized Venus transits must be occurring but missed it in 1631 because Kepler miscalculated its timing. The first person credited with observing a Venus transition was Jeremiah Horrocks in 1639 who corrected Kepler’s calculation and was able to catch of glimpse of it in between his business meetings.

The planet Venus is also known as the Morning Star and is associated with love, beauty, relationships, harmony, and unity. When considering the implications of a visible transit of Venus across the sun, some astrologers focus on the changes within the 8 years of the two transits claiming a doorway opens and then closes. Others focus only on the year of the event itself. Some claim that intense periods of social and religious enlightenment take place during the 8 years between transits which sets into motion major changes in institutions of justice, equality, medicine, arts, and religion.

During the Venus transit doorway from 1874 to 1882, the Impressionists were painting their great works, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, and Ibsen wrote their major works, Thomas Edison switched on the first electric plant in New York, Tessla invented the “permanent magnetic”, TB and other diseases were identified, and the Great comet –C1882R1 – arrived and was so bright it was visible during the day.

In the past 8 years, major discoveries in our solar system and beyond were made with the landing of rovers on Mars, a probe successfully landing on Saturn's moon Titan, the discovery of a huge white dwarf star BPM 37093, and identifying a record number of planets circling other stars – exoplanets - due to improvements in optical telescopes (Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for claiming exoplanets even existed). SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded space plane to achieve spaceflight in 2004 and just recently the first private space ship docked with the space station. The tallest structures in the world were built during the past 8 years in Shanghai (1614 feet), Taipei (1670 feet), Mecca (1971 feet), Tokyo (2080 feet), and Dubai (2723 feet). The first same-sex marriage licenses in the US were issued in Massachusetts in 2004 followed by other states and cities around the nation. A 9.3 magnitude earthquake in 2004 created a tsunami which caused devastation to nations in the Indian Ocean killing at least 230,000 people. The Earth has been wracked with earthquakes since then with the largest earthquake and tsunami last year in Japan causing massive destruction and death in Japan and radiation exposure worldwide from destroyed nuclear reactors.

Whether this transit is the closing of a Venus transit doorway opened in 2004 or yet another significant astrological event for 2012, already crowded with a calendar of astronomical and astrological events as well as foreboding predictions, it is an event not to be missed considering all of us on the Earth today will be long dead by 2117, when Venus, the Earth and the sun are once again in a direct and visible line.

The transit event will be webcast live by NASA.


city said...

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