Greetings! This week I want to highlight a very important upcoming astronomical event. The transit of Venus will occur on the 5th of June. It will be the second time this has happened in my life time. Transit’s of Venus have a unique series of cycles. A very long period of time then an eight year short wait then another long long long wait till another one begins. According to Sky and Scope the length of time between can range 105 ½ years to 121 ½ years between the two 8 yr transits. So if you don’t see this transit well I will just put money on you not seeing the next one.
Also, Don’t just go and look up at the Sun anytime, Remember its a big ball of fusion energy and can scar your eye in a permanent fashion, which you will not like! If you do want to observe the transit directly use nothing less than a #14* shade welding glasses. Often you can purchase eclipse shades from science museum stores, these are great for observing things like sun spots! If you live in a area that has a science center give them a call or check them out on line to see if they will be doing any observation. Also a great resources are local astronomy clubs, its way more fun to interact with people who have a passion for this stuff and know a thing or two! www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/2012-venus-transit.html
In other space news, SpaceX the first private company ever to dock with the International Space Station did so today! Using the Dragon to drop of supplies to and picking up research from the ISS. Hopefully SpaceX, along with other private firms will be able to transport us to and from low earth orbit and free up NASA to do deep space missions.
In other science news. Scientific American is reporting that a three research engineers from Stanford University have discovered a way to add a segment of DNA from a virus into a bacteria. That can be turned on and off, which had not been done reliably before. So one day maybe we can have different hair color? Who knows! But don’t worry we still have not perfected cloning yet so don’t get rid of your hair dyes yet.