» 06/06/2012, 00.00
Rare sighting as Venus transits the sun
In Israel, India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, the phenomenon that happens once in 100 years. An opportunity for scientists to study and calculate the distances of the planets and for more information on the atmosphere of Venus.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - 12:49 today marked the last chance for the people of the territory to witness the rather rare transit of Venus across the disk of the sun. The transit occurs when the orbit of the second planet in our solar system passes between the sun and the earth. This phenomenon happens twice in a row, but at a distance of hundreds of years. The previous transit of Venus occurred in 2004 and between then and now in 2012. But next time will be in 2117 and in 2125.
The Hong Kong Observatory and the Space Museum offered the opportunity free of charge to anyone who wanted to view the passage with protective tools: looking directly at the solar disc can damage the eyes. The Observatory also released pictures on its website.
The phenomenon has a scientific and historical significance. The transits of the planets in the 17th and 18th century were used by astronomers of the time to measure the distance between the earth and the sun, now known to be 149.6 million kilometers.
The transit of Venus is helping NASA to find out more about the density of the planet, particularly looking at the so-called "halo" at the beginning of the transit. Many sites, in the U.S., Israel, in Bengal (India), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan streamed the transit live (webcast).
A similar phenomenon will occur in 2016, when there will be the transit of the planet Mercury.
Informed by science and magic, Asians wait for the longest solar eclipse of the century
The “event of the century” is scheduled for tomorrow when a solar eclipse is set to last 6 minutes and 27 seconds. Astrologers and magicians predict clashes and social unrest. In China the authorities have launched a campaign to educate people. But the event will breathe new life in a tourist sector badly hurt by the global recession and the swine flu.
Asia, rain and pollution obscure the eclipse of the century
In India a woman died crushed by the crowd, millions of people barricaded themselves in their homes for fear of the pernicious influences of the sun's invisible rays. In Beijing the sky covered by a thick blanket of smog, in Shanghai the rain ruined the spectacle for millions of tourists.
Taiwan, a super radiotelescope for black holes
A global partnership between the United States, Europe, Japan and Taiwan has created Alma, a next generation complex of 66 antennas. The inauguration took place in Chile, where the telescope was installed.
Do not seek in science all the answers to man's problems, says Pope
Benedict XVI says there is no "necessary conflict" between science and faith, but technology and scientific progress cannot answer questions about the meaning of life and death. Scientists should not use their knowledge against human life.
23/06/2008 INDIA – IRAN – PAKISTAN
Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline to be approved “very soon”
The project had stalled over a transit fee dispute between India and Pakistan, which now seems solved. Washington opposes the 2,600-km pipeline.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
29/04/2016 NORTH KOREA- USA
25/04/2016 HONG KONG - CHINA
26/04/2016 SYRIA - TURKEY
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.