6 June 2012 (Wednesday) - A Transit
Last night was something that's not going to happen again for over a hundred years - a transit of the planet Venus. For about six hours Venus was directly between the Earth and the Sun, and given the right sorts of telescope it was possible to see Venus as a small black spot against the brighter sun. It mostly happened at night; and seeing the transit here in the UK was only possible for the hour from sunrise to the end of the transit at 5.50am.
I had toyed with the idea of meeting up with the various astro clubs that were planning to meet up at Walmer castle this morning to watch the transit; Walmer facing east having probably the best view in the south east. But when I went to bed last night the constant rain made me think that the transit wasn't going to be particularly visible. I looked out of the window just before 5am this morning, saw the clouds, sniggered a bit, and went back to bed.
Over brekkie I checked the Internet. Twenty-odd brave souls had ventured to watch the clouds at Walmer Castle. They didn't see anything of the sun or of the transit at all; but the sun did come out on their way home. Which was nice.
There's not going to be another transit of Venus for over one hundred years.....
I then spent a frantic half an hour getting stuff together for the weekend. I've had the weekend's camp in my diary for months, but somehow just haven't got myself organised. I was loading up gas bottles last night at 11pm. And frantically wondering what I'd done with sleeping bags this morning. One thing's for sure - I don't know where my beloved's air bed is. She'll go mental if I don't find it.
I could have done with not working today; and I could certainly have done with not working till 10pm. But needs must. By the time I'd got home and had a bite to eat I found myself packing my smalls at 11pm.
And here's a surprise - Ray Bradbury died today. Author of "The Martian Chronicles", "Fahrenheit 451" and countless other classics. I thought he'd died years ago.....