Memorial Hall Library

Chasing Venus, the race to measure the heavens, Andrea Wulf

Mapped to
Chasing Venus, the race to measure the heavens, Andrea Wulf
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Main title
Chasing Venus
Oclc number
Responsibility statement
Andrea Wulf
Sub title
the race to measure the heavens
"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
Table of contents
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

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