Transit Times

On May 9 this year, I viewed the Transit of Mercury from the roof of the Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge. Several telescopes were trained on the Sun for the event, but the best view was undoubtedly the one through the 4-inch Alvan Clark & Sons antique telescope brought in for the occasion by collectors Ken Launie and Sara Schechner. I was also with Ken and Sara at Mount Wilson for the 2012 Transit of Venus, which I wrote about for Aeon. (Photo credit: Richard Koolish, Antique Telescope Society.)

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The 2016 Leap Second

On New Year’s Eve 2016, a so-called leap second will be added to the world’s reckoning of time. For a long while now, the wisdom of such insertions has been debated as a potential danger to aircraft and computer systems. I wrote an article, “The Wait of the World,” about the problematic time interval for Aeon. Photo credit: NASA. 

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