A case for colonizing Venus, Jetsons style

Venus is not exactly a hospitable-sounding place. The planet's surface can reach temperatures of 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The atmospheric pressure is close to the psi found in a hydraulic car crusher . None of the landers that touched down there lasted more than an hour. Generally, it's a not a place that sounds very friendly to humans. But that's all on the surface. Just 30 miles up, conditions on Venus become incredibly Earth-like. In fact, the upper atmosphere of Venus is home to the most Earth-like conditions in our entire solar system. Read the rest

NASA had Apollo-era plans to send humans to Mars and Venus

In an alternate universe — one where Americans had a LOT more enthusiasm for spending money on massive space projects than we've ever actually demonstrated — the 1970s and 1980s might have been the era of manned missions to Mars and Venus. Amy Shira Teitel writes about how this could have been possible, using only the now-antiquated technology that got us to the Moon and back. Read the rest
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Belly Time lapse transit of Venus

"Last time you'll see that for 105 years."—Sam Cornwell. [Video Link] Read the rest

Now under way: Transit of Venus across face of the Sun

Q: Can I put 10 pairs of sunglasses together to view the sun? A: Not unless you are currently not blind, but wish to become so.

A better bet: watch the Griffith Observatory webcast (thanks, Andrea James!)

Photo: The transit of Venus from Denver, Colorado, USA, 2012 © by Jerry Knaus Read the rest