Cosmic Pizza | Venus & Earth 2020 – 2028
The most recent conjunction of Venus and Earth took place on June 4, 2020. This day saw the Sun, Earth, and Venus positioned in a line. The alignment occurs every 18 months, with the two planets returning to the same points every eight years. Connect the points of conjunction, and a pentagram emerges.
Conjunction of Venus & Earth 2020-2028
June 4, 2020
January 9, 2022
August 13, 2023
March 23, 2025
October 24, 2026
June 1, 2028
Planetary twins Venus and Earth
Earth, as we know, provides an environment so rich as to harbor life. Venus, on the other hand, has the hottest surface temperature and highest atmospheric pressure of any planet in the solar system, plus it’s shrouded by clouds of concentrated sulfuric acid for conditions as hostile as the inside of a pizza oven. Obviously, life on Venus is out of the question. The two planets may seem entirely different, and yet they are the most similar planets in the solar system. They were formed around the same time and are comparable in size and chemical makeup.
Earth had a lucky break. In an event known as the giant impact, it collided with another celestial body, gaining axis and orbit stability as well as a trusted partner formed from its own ejecta: the Moon. The gravity of the Moon helps generate tides, promote the birth of lifeforms, and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen on Earth. Venus has experienced similar collisions, but the impact only left it rotating in the opposite direction and its conditions even harsher than before. The two planets that started out as similar as identical twins set out to lead completely different lives.
From light to enlightenment
According to Maya teachings, knowledge of astronomy should not be chewed and digested, but swallowed whole as a snake does its prey. Try though we might, humans can never fully understand the law of nature. And if that is so, then we should simply accept the universe as it is. In some ways, this thinking relates to the stories of Kukai and the Buddha, who attained enlightenment, the former by swallowing and the latter by sighting the “morning star.” Both swallowed the object whole, drew in its brightness, and released it from within. What started out as beauty observed in the faraway heavens had become part of the beholder.
The closer it approaches Earth, the brighter Venus appears. At its highest luminosity, Venus is some 20 times brighter than Sirius as seen from Earth. What’s more, Venus only reveals its beauty in the moments after sunset and before sunrise. The sky at twilight is the direction of Earth’s yesterday. When the Sun dips below the horizon, it disappears into the past. The sky at daybreak is the direction of the Earth in the hours ahead. When the Sun rises above the horizon, light envelops light itself and illuminates the future.
The basis of beauty
At the basis of perfect beauty lies the golden ratio. The aesthetically pleasing spiral pattern can be found everywhere, from the human body (DNA, various parts) to other lifeforms (petals, conches) to natural phenomena (waves, typhoons). The ration is always 1:1.618.
The relationship between Venus and Earth is also in this ultimate ratio. For example, the 225-day-long Venusian year (the time it takes to orbit the Sun) multiplied by 1.618 is 364, roughly equivalent to the Earth year. And the 365-day-long Earth year multiplied by 1.618 is 590, close to the 584-day interval between conjunctions of Venus and Earth, with an error of only 1%. Talk about the brilliant symmetry between the three cycles—axis (rotation), orbit (revolution), and conjunction (alignment).
Connect the points of conjunction in a one-stroke sketch. What emerges is a pentagram, that shape used universally to express a star. But why does the pentagram express a star, when real stars in the sky never appear to have five points? The harmony between Venus and Earth is a likely motif. Look down, and you will see that the flowers underfoot are in the golden ratio too. Why do the flowers come in this shape? Because this is the energy flowing through the universe. The flowers exist in this shape on the template of cosmic energy. Put another way, the flowers are blooming in space in this shape.
Perfect harmony and exquisite beauty lie in
the close relationship between Venus and Earth.
−−−− Kaichi Sugiyama
Venus & Earth 2020 – 2028
Inspired by the relationship between two planets, namely the conjunction of Venus and Earth, during the eight-year period from 2020 to 2028, the pizza is topped with egg yolk standing for Venus, and Romanesco broccoli in the golden ratio.
Born 1977 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Sugiyama self-studied calendars and designed the HELIO COMPASS. His invention was inspired, to some degree, by the extremity of time that he experienced in the course of his part-time job at a pizza parlor.