Inking up!

Inking up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Earth to Venus

The view of Venus orbiting the sun as seen from Earth, and likewise how Earth looks from Venus as it orbits the sun. The pattern is a beautiful five-pointed star. It takes 8 years for Venus to make one star pattern: like shown above.

A few days ago Venus went "retrograde." What this means is that from where we sit on Earth and look at Venus up in the sky, it appears to be going backwards. This is just an illusion created from the different speeds of the two planets and that they are passing. Historically this has been a big deal in many cultures and many myths have been created about this time. They are myths of underworld journeys when Venus goes "below" to face demons and returns reborn as a morning star. The pentagram became a symbol of this planet and this journey of transformation.

Interestingly, Venus will be retrograde this time for 42 days. It is always about that amount. So I learned how to draw a 42 pointed star. In my geometry group we draw only with a compass, a straight edge, and pencil. So this is how this was done. 6x7=42, of course. So if you look carefully you can see that the six pointed star divides the circle every seventh point.

Last night in geometry I showed a new way (to us) to draw a pentagon/pentagram, in honor of Venus. Bill filled his page and all day today has continued to color his page.

I also learned yesterday how to find 60 equi-distant points around the circle, using only our geometer's tools. I was pretty excited, as we have all been trying to figure out 30 around and 60 around for some time. So when I figured it out, I was pretty excited, so I demonstrated this to our group as well. 60 around is about time: 60 minutes and 60 seconds build our clock, and time is ruled by Saturn. Saturn is the furthest planet out that can be seen with the naked eye, so to ancient time-keeper/astronomers Saturn was used to mark time.

This may all make me sound like an astrology geek, but I am not. It is really astronomy and archeology. I find it fascinating.


  1. reminds me of the fun part of my hated geometry in school, where i could DRAW anything...

  2. Ah; see, speak too soon, for some reason this post didn't appear when I commented on the post bellow.
    Hello again. :)