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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Transit of Venus...

I've been out of the loop for a bit here but I've had tons going on.   This week is just getting started but I'm doing something fun and exciting just about every night.  Today was the most though.  I wanted to witness the transit of Venus across the sun that I've been raving about all week because it won't happen again until 2117.

And I thank grad school again for my badass organizational and time management skills.  I was able to pull off wrapping up some work on a few cues for the sci fi short at a coffee shop near the Highline park, while I waited for the transit to begin and, having brought my yoga mat was able to make it to a yoga class after the transit.  Granted, I had to put off dinner until about 1030 tonight but hey, you gotta make some sacrifices.  After all, like I said, this won't happen again until 2117, when I'm 136 years old!

The Amateur Astronomer's Association of NY was hosting a viewing party on the Highline Park (and one in Inwood at Riverside Park) so I figured, despite the clouds, I had to give this a shot and try to make it.  I've been meaning to join one of their stargazing events for some time now, ever since I heard of them…which probably came about because of my recent obsession, er, lay interest in astronomy and all things astrophysics borne out of my harrowing overnight schedule at work (which, sidebar, is OVER for good now…I worked my last overnight last night!). 

As I came out from underneath the building that the elevated rail line punctures at 14th Street, I couldn't believe how many people were up there to glimpse the transit.  With the amount of cloud cover there was, I thought there might only be a handful of people.  I almost didn't go and figured I would just watch it streaming online from Mauna Kea in Hawaii.  But as I sat in 'sNice on 8th Avenue, sipping my maté and working on my laptop, the sun peeked out a few times and I got excited.  It was really breaking through by the time I got up there, too.  I wandered around at first getting a scope of how many people were actually there and sizing up all the different telescopes.  Having no game plan, I figured I would just cozy up to one person's setup and try to get a look.  I approached one guy and chatted to him a little and peered into his telescope which was filtered and focused on the sun (it even had a battery powered motor to keep up with the rotation of the Earth).  I glimpsed a few sun spots but at that point the transit was still 15 minutes away.  Hearing rumors of someone passing out eclipse glasses, I began to seek her out and eventually found her but she was out of glasses except for 10 that were her own personal ones that she needed for her class.  I decided to hang out by her setup because she was projecting onto a plate attached to her telescope so it was much easier to watch.  I even tried the glasses a few times but it was too hard to actually see the transit that way. 

The clouds really were teasing us but by the time we were about 5 minutes in to the transit, we got a very clear glimpse of the whole disc of the sun on the plate, and there it was, a tiny black dot (well, bigger and clearer than the sun spots but still tiny). 





As I posted on Facebook earlier today, the dot of Venus is the especially round one toward the top of the disc on this plate.  The darker spots near the bottom are just scratches on the plate, but if you peer closely, you will notice a few sunspots even. 

This was such a fun event and it was inspiring to see how many people were interested in witnessing the transit.  It just gets you excited, too, about the incredible nature of the universe, how it works and how big it really is.  Much more exciting than just watching documentaries about this stuff, I mean, actually seeing it in action.  And add to that the fact that this event was so rare.  Mercury will cross the sun again in 2016 and does so more often but because it is closer to the sun than it is to us, it's not as striking.  But now, I'm probably going to have to go and check that out anyway in a few years.  

After making some new friends and chatting about everything from high powered telescopes, fast Fourier transform, and even the Pluto's not a planet debate, I left around 730pm and headed to Brooklyn Heights where I've been taking yoga at a new studio.  


Most of the teachers there seem to be Jivamukti inspired but the one who teaches tonight has some Anusara training, Anusara being the style I'm most recently acquainted with from studying at Abhaya yoga in DUMBO.  I still haven't decided what I'm going to do when my 3 week new student deal is up.  I may go back to Abhaya and split my time between there and the new place, Yoga People, because I like the new place a lot.  But I've become really fond of all the teachers I've studied with at Abhaya.  I may, however, just continue investigating other studios out of curiosity just to see what else is out there.  

Anyway, I'm about to head off to bed, because I have to work tomorrow at 10am, a rare Wednesday shift to make up for the change in my schedule next week.  No MORE OVERNIGHTS!!!!!!  Tomorrow, after work, I'm going to a networking event, the NY Spotlight on Success, and then Thursday I may go see Marie-Christine Giordano's dance company. The excitement continues!  Good night. 

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