By Brendan Loy
Above: Video of the Transit of Venus taken by my dad in Connecticut in 2004.
Long-time readers might vaguely recall that, eight years ago, I considered flying from Phoenix (where I was living at the time) to Chicago, for just a single day, to view the Transit of Venus. I ultimately decided against it — instead shipping my video camera, equipped with a makeshift solar filter, to my parents in Connecticut, and vicariously liveblogging an event I couldn’t see — because, as I wrote on the day of the transit, “There will be a re-run in eight years.”
That “re-run” is tomorrow, as you can see in my countdown timer at right. (I’ve literally been counting the days until tomorrow for the last 6 1/2 years.) And it’s visible from Denver — along with most of the rest of the world — weather-permitting.
That last word, “weather-permitting,” is key, though. Right now the forecast says “partly sunny,” revised from an earlier prediction of “mostly cloudy.” (I’ve never been clear on the difference between those two vague phrases; it sounds like a glass half-empty/half-full sort of thing.) I’ll be watching the weather obsessively tonight and perhaps into early morning tomorrow. If it looks iffy, I might end up boarding a plane after all — from Denver to Tucson, where it will be 98 degrees and sunny. I’ve got a refundable (well, re-credit-able) Southwest ticket for a flight leaving at 9:35 AM tomorrow, if I need it.
Hopefully I won’t need that ticket, and I can cancel it and use the credit for something else later in the summer. Most likely, I’ll end up staying in the Greater Denver Area, prepared to chase the sunlight for multiple hours tomorrow afternoon — to Laramie, to Pueblo, to Limon, whatever — if Denver looks like it’s clouding over. But, one way or another, come Hell or high water, I’m not missing this transit — because this time, there’s no re-run in our lifetimes. The next transit will be in 2117.