I hope you’re all ready for today’s transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. You certainly can’t have missed that it’s happening, given the media hype. (Look at the website http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/, their post from yesterday in particular, for all sorts of useful resources, including timing for the event in various locations, and on-line resources for you to watch in case clouds interfere at your location. UPDATE: that website is overwhelmed. In the continental U.S. transit begins just after 6 pm Eastern, 3 pm Pacific, differing by a few minutes from place to place; and sunset will occur before the transit is over. One online location to watch the transit is http://events.slooh.com/) But — let me be the first to warn you — this is going to be very cool, but it isn’t going to be a spectacular event like a big meteor shower or a total solar eclipse or even a total lunar eclipse. It’s going to be subtle, slow, and potentially very boring, unless you have the right mindset (or a truly excellent telescope, properly filtered for sun viewing). So here are some suggestions: Continue reading
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- The Importance and Challenges of “Open Data” at the Large Hadron Collider
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