Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Perhaps unsuprisingly it is too cloudy here to make watching today's Venus transit in person likely, so I'll be watching it on the internet through whatever collection of telescopes makes that possible. We've talked before about that set of transits in the 1700's, when science got together and decided to scatter across the globe in the name of adventure and in the face of an indifferent planet and unstable geopolitics. It's possible to say that more things went wrong on those expeditions than went right, but then I guess it's usually possible to say that and be mostly correct and yet still miss the point entirely. Everyone was different after the Venus transit, just by the fact of having been there. All changed in their eyes and brains, all of their paths shifted just slightly sideways.

What I wonder about are the travelers that went too far for the first transit to leave and come back for the second, who settled into new places for the eight years in between, everyone who was thought lost in the pursuit of knowledge. If it's possible to come back after that at all, having committed to speaking the language of the skies come whatever they could throw.

I wonder how our eyes will alter today looking only at the sky through our computers, what different people we may be by sundown.

No comments: