Today at 6:00am the ConnecTech group went to the Givatayim Observatory to watch the Transit of Venus, when Venus passes directly in between the earth and the sun, blocking a small part of the sun.  Naturally, we could hardly contain our excitement to see this spectacular astronomical event (and were just a bit worried that it might be too cloudy to see the sun): each pair of Venus transits occurs less than once every century!  Thankfully, Israel is blessed with beautifull weather, so we were able to get an excellent view of the transit.  The transit of Venus is also historically important because early astronomers were able to get very accurate measurements of the distance between the earth and the sun by timing the transit.

Here one of us is watching the Transit of Venus through a Telescope with a sun filter to protect our eyes from the sun:

Here we are at the observatory:

 

 

Here we are at the observatory:

 

Here we are projecting the sun onto a piece of paper using binoculars to safely observe &photograph the transit:

 

Here is a picture we took right at the end of the transit.  Venus is the black dot at the edge of the sun.

 

 

 

 

As a side bonus, we even got to see sunspots, the dark spots on the sun where the sun’s magentic field lines dive into the sun.  Unlike the earth, which only has one pair of points where the magnetic field pierces the surface (the north and south magnetic poles), the sun has many of these since the thermal convection inside the sun makes its charged plasma flow very wildly, causing the magentic field lines to become very tangled.  (I could count at least six sunspots today!)

Maybe our great-great grandchildren will see each other at the next ConnecTech transit of Venus in 2117!  (Hopefully Mashiach will have arrived by then 🙂  )

Hummus tagline of the day: I like my hummus sunny side up.

The Technion-MIT ConnecTech program is generously funded and supported by the CJP Boston-Haifa Connection.