One trick that helped me count the orbits was picking a start date in which the sun, Venus, and earth are in a perfect line. How thrilling it was to see all three objects line up in nearly the same place on January 11, 2014 and again eight years later!
Then, I began to wonder. Was the only time in the cycle of 8 Earth years and 13 Venus orbits that three objects were collinear?
Going back to the animation from yesterday, I restarted it for 11-1-2014, which happens to be a week from today — which is what I like to call a whisper from God. It doesn't take long for Venus to lap Earth and fall in line with Earth and the sun. It's almost like watching a cosmic version of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Only the hare is more like the Energizer bunny.
This is a screenshot of how the first alignment of the sun, Venus, and earth after the one coming up this Saturday (January 11, 2014). Notice the date is August 15, 2015.
I got 5 — another Fibonacci number! As a mathematician, I must verify that the three really do align five times in eight years. I consulted NASA as before. The proper geek term for the number of days it takes for two consecutive alignments of two celestial bodies that move is synodic period. The folks at NASA say it is 583.92 days.
Does that make sense? Well, 583.92 days is the same as 1.6 years. Did it look like Venus lapped Earth one and went a tad over half a lap to line up between the sun and Earth? It did to me!
So, the Creator of the universe saw fit to tuck three Fibonacci numbers in a row 5, 8, and 13 into this little scenario. Wait! There's more!
We have 1 sun is being orbited by 2 planets so that 3 objects line up perfectly 5 times, every 8 earth years, which is the same as 13 Venus orbits. That statement contains six consecutive Fibonacci numbers!
Is God cool, or what?
28 days and a wake-up until the winner of the potholder giveaway is announced. What giveaway? Read on for more details.