The Transit Of Venus

The Transit of Venus is the term we use to describe the motion of the planet Venus as it passes in front of the Sun as observed from Earth. The transit is a mini eclipse of the sun, much like the moon passing in front of the sun as observed from Earth, the difference being the moon is so much closer to us that it blocks out the entire sun, while Venus is so far away from us it only blocks out a tiny dot, the tiny dot being Venus. The first recorded observation of the Transit of Venus took place in 1639, by a couple of Englishmen, and has been the subject of scientific study ever since. Different cultures had different names for the heavenly bodies. The ancient Greeks, for instance, called Venus Hesperus, the Evening Star, and Phosphorus, the Morning Star, not realizing the two were the same planet. The sun also had various names, like Sol and Helios.  Helios had a son named Phaeton, and a couple of thousand years later the word Phaeton was applied to a four wheeled horse drawn carriage, no doubt named after Phaeton, the son of Helios, who convinced his father to let him drive the sun chariot, with disastrous results. In describing all this to a friend, he sighed, remembering his own personal transit of Venus, with its own disastrous results, and said

So beautiful my Venus was
Friends warned she was jail bait
They warned me not to transit her
Into another State
I scoffed and cried that he who Mars
Her good name with his lips
Will find his Solar plexus turned
Into a full eclipse
Alas my friends were heeded not
She claimed she’s twenty-four
But exiting my Phaeton I
Was shown the cell block door

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