To celebrate Venus — then, and if I could again
June 9, 2012. I wore a pink dress and pink heel sandals with a bow strap to the Adler Planetarium ‘Transit of Venus’ public celebration last Tuesday. ‘Twas to fete Venus transiting between the sun and earth in plain sight. Had I understood the magnitude of the event, I’d have celebrated differently.
My idea of celebrating this celestial event would have taken grand planning, and would have included champagne, and a dress code for guests.
Yet, like many folks who aren’t astronomers, I wasn’t aware of this unique appearance of Venus till of late.
The day before Adler’s celebrating the Transit, I noticed a press release about it, and decided to announce it on my A romantic in Chicago Introduction page. I called the PR contact to fact check. She iterated that this was the last time this century to view the Transit of Venus. The next opportunity would be in 2117.
My announcement turned into an “Adler Invitation to celebrate Venus” article. I invited videographer Wayne Anderson to join me to cover the event.
Adler Planetarium staff were thoughtful and spectacular at hosting a Transit of Venus celebration. They opened doors to free general admission, moved Adler public telescopes to the lawn, and distributed “Eclipse Shades” that folks could use to gaze safely at the sun.
To see Venus! Through the Eclipse Shades she was a speck against the sun. Through the telescopes she was a dot. It seemed anti-climatic to see this tiny dot against the sun. Until I learned that the view showed a planet 27 million miles away.
‘Twas more amazing to learn that astronomers around the world were veritably at bated breath to observe. These were folks who had access to the most powerful telescopes on earth to view Venus any day. However today offered a rare opportunity to learn more about all planetary paths.
I captured the event by the heels of my pink shoes. Mr. Anderson and I recorded scenes and interviews on video yet to be released.
If I could do it again
Now that I understand the magnitude of this event, I’d opt to host a soiree to honor Venus and her daylight appearance.
“Pink” would be the a “pink champagne” or sparkling rosé. Dress code: cocktail attire with a suggested pink influence. I envision ladies in pink dresses or highlighting pink accessories, and gents in tuxes with pink cummerbunds and pink bowties. White sparkling also to be served for those who preferred, as well as a full bar.
Where: A place with a full sky view, like a greenhouse or backyard terrace. Guests would receive solar viewing shades with pink frames. But of course I’d have a telescope with a filter so folks could also behold the Transit of Venus through that.
Guests of honor: One male, one female astronomer. My take is astronomers are romantics. Afterall, early astronomers named the planet Venus after the goddess of love; ’tis said because she was the brightest planet in the sky. And, gazing at the stars oft as they do, they’d be helpless to a romantic bent. The invited astronomers would regale guests with stories of Venus and the universe. And, they’d present the official raising our glasses to Venus.
When: December 11, 2117. The party would last afternoon into the night. Perhaps by then telescopes would be more a home staple than TV sets.
Yet the next “Transit of Venus” date is the toughest part. Sans a time machine, no need to plan a stellar Venus soiree.
Still, it’s nice to stargaze.
Visit here to read about the Adler ‘Transit of Venus’ event.