LET me first clear up a possible misconception.
I'm not talking about an extraterrestrial van.
The transit of Venus is not a vehicle. It is, er, a transit, which is to say a journey, in this case by the planet Venus across the face of yon Sun. Next month – June 6 to be precise – will be the chance for people living today to witness the phenomenon.
I can sense your excitement. Or is it just me? I wouldn't say I had an interest in astronomy. That's almost impossible, since one's first introduction to the subject is the constellations. These include the plough, which is also known as the big dipper or the ladle or the seven great sages. Already, you see the first problem: which is it? And the second problem: it doesn't look like any of these.
After that, you're tempted to give up. Which I do. Show me a towel and I'll throw it in. But I do like looking at the stars, and I maintain a childlike fascination with ooter space.
So I'll be out in my back garden on June 6, pointing my heid at the universe. Of course, this being Scotland, it's bound to be a cloudy disappointment – rather like the referendum of 2014 promises to be – but we Scots are nothing if not cheery optimists and so we'll give it a go.
We have to. It's our last chance. The next transit isn't due until December 2117 when – and I hate to break such sad news – you'll be deid. So what can we expect to see in the transit? Get this: a wee spot moving across the sun. How brilliant is that?
You could make an event of it. Have a pie and a nip. Make your spouse watch it. And remember to wear eclipse shades to protect your eyelobes.
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