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  • Published: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st American ed.
  • Description: xxvi, 304 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9780307700179
  • 0307700178

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Chasing Venus : the race to measure the heavens

by Wulf, Andrea.

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Where To Find It

Call number: 523.92 Wu

Additional Details

Includes index.

The gauntlet -- Transit 1761. Call to action ; The French are first ; Britain enters the race ; To Siberia ; Getting ready for Venus ; Day of transit, 6 June 1761 ; How far to the sun? -- Transit 1769. A second change ; Russia enters the race ; The most daring voyage of all ; Scandinavia, or, The Land of the Midnight Sun ; The North American continent ; Racing to the four corners of the globe ; Day of transit, 3 June 1769 ; After the transit -- A new dawn -- List of observers, 1761 -- List of observers, 1769.

"The author of the highly acclaimed Founding Gardeners now gives us an enlightening chronicle of the first truly international scientific endeavor--the eighteenth-century quest to observe the transit of Venus and measure the solar system. On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the earth and the sun in more than a century. Through that observation, astronomers could calculate the size of the solar system--but only if the transit could be viewed at the same time from many locations. Overcoming incredible odds and political strife, astronomers from Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, and the American colonies set up observatories in remote corners of the world only to have their efforts thwarted by unpredictable weather and warring armies. Fortunately, transits of Venus occur in pairs: eight years later, the scientists were given a second chance to get it right. Chasing Venus brings to life this extraordinary endeavor: the personalities of eighteenth-century astronomy, the collaborations, discoveries, personal rivalries, volatile international politics, and the race to be first to measure the distances between the planets"--Provided by publisher.

"On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the Earth and the sun in more than a century. Through that observation, astronomers could calculate the size of the solar system--but only if the transit could be viewed at the same time from many locations. Overcoming incredible odds and political strife, astronomers from Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, and the American colonies set up observatories in remote corners of the world only to have their efforts thwarted by unpredictable weather and warring armies. Fortunately, transits of Venus occur in pairs: eight years later, the scientists were given a second chance to get it right. Chasing Venus brings to life this extraordinary endeavor: the personalities of eighteenth-century astronomy, the collaborations, discoveries, personal rivalries, volatile international politics, and the race to be first to measure the distances between the planets"--Provided by publisher.

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