Shoutout to Gawker for sharing this sweet time-lapse video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that records, so artfully, when Venus crossed the sun's face yesterday. It's the last time that'll happen this century. Video is below. Info on SDO after the break.
Didn't get to witness it myself. Weather sucked here in lil' ol' Greenville, N.C. I was bummed because, c'mon, we throw around that term "once in a lifetime" quite a bit. Michael Jordan was a once-in-a-lifetime baller. Tiger Woods, once-in-a-lifetime golfer. Albert Pujols, once-in-a-lifetime hitter. Christopher Nolan, once-in-a-lifetime director. Brandon Sneed, once-in-a-lifetime writer.*
*And sometimes we lie.
You could say that technically everything in life is once in a lifetime because nobody's ever exactly the same as someone else and nothing ever happens the second time exactly like how it happens the first time. But you don't want to be all obnoxious and hokey so no, you won't say all that.
What you could definitely say is that the transit of Venus is actually one of those things that will never, ever happen again so long as we all shall live.*
* Unless someone finds a way to make us part robot or something. Which could happen. And then which would be wayyy expensive.
Anyway: So yeah, it would've been cool to see that. But at least now we have technology that allows us to take that moment and make something from real life happen as though it happened in Hollywood.
Info on SDO, from YouTube:
Launched on Feb. 11, 2010, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, is the most advanced spacecraft ever designed to study the sun. During its five-year mission, it will examine the sun's atmosphere, magnetic field and also provide a better understanding of the role the sun plays in Earth's atmospheric chemistry and climate. SDO provides images with resolution 8 times better than high-definition television and returns more than a terabyte of data each day.
On June 5 2012, SDO collected images of the rarest predictable solar event--the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. This event happens in pairs eight years apart that are separated from each other by 105 or 121 years. The last transit was in 2004 and the next will not happen until 2117.
The videos and images displayed here are constructed from several wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light and a portion of the visible spectrum. The red colored sun is the 304 angstrom ultraviolet, the golden colored sun is 171 angstrom, the magenta sun is 1700 angstrom, and the orange sun is filtered visible light. 304 and 171 show the atmosphere of the sun, which does not appear in the visible part of the spectrum.