Campus Event Commentary: Preston Ito

On November 11, Mercury passed directly between the Earth, also known as the Mercury Transit. The Physics department had set up telescopes on Chamber’s Lawn at around 10 am to show different pictures of the transit. I’ve seen total eclipses before, but other than that, I had no idea what to expect of the Mercury Transit. When I looked into the telescope, I saw the tiny black dot that was Mercury in front of a huge red background (the Sun). It was somewhat exciting to see, especially since the next Mercury transit will occur in the year 2032. This can be tied into the theme of revolution, when applying the scientific definition to the word. Revolution describes the motion of planets around the sun. Planets like Earth will revolve around the Sun, giving us our sense of time. Relating something like physics to humanities is always nice in that it gives us a shift in perspective. You’d think that it’d be hard to relate physics to the social revolutions we’ve been discussing in class, but just in the word “revolution” itself, we can discover clear connections between the two subjects.

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