Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Right now the skies are cloudy, but thanks to the internet I'm watching the transit of the Sun by Mercury on a feed from, strange to see one of our neighbours crossing in front of the Sun.

Of course transits of Venus are much rarer, apperently in 2004 when the last transit of Venus occurred there was no one alive at that time who would have witnessed a previous transit! The next one though is only 4 years from now, they occur in pairs 8 years apart with then a gap in excess of 120 years.

Anyway, I hadn't mentioned before that I'd enrolled for an Open University short science course in.... you guessed it Astronomy. Back in 1989 I started studying for a degree with the OU in Computer Science, this was all about a change of career from being a clerk in the Civil Service to working as a Computer Programmer. I'd spent the previous 3 years studying at the local college all in Computer Science.

Anyway, I got a job as a trainee Analyst/Programmer after my first year's course with the OU. I carried on studying for a further 3 years but pressures in my new career combined with the fact that I was now a practitioner in this subject led to my giving up with half the points needed for a BSc Honours degree.

Back in September I decided to resume my studies to complete my degree, and the OU now offer many more courses than back in 1989. So I've decided to ease my way back into it by doing some short courses in a subject that interests me.

The course material arrived today, I will keep you posted of progress.

I guess an observer on one of Jupiters moons would need a pretty huge scope to see the Earth transit the Sun!



  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    great news on your OU course thinking of doing one myself in a few years time keep us updated


  2. Thanks Mark, I'll try to keep you posted! The good thing about the OU os that you don't need any qualifications to start and you can study at your own pace, I mean look at me with a 12 year gap! Having said that I'm not sure I'll have the time to get back into doing any full courses but I will take one step at a time.