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venus

A Cytherean thread?

A Cytherean thread?

Does this image by Dave McCarter hint at one of the black drop forms, namely a thread connecting Venus to the solar limb? See if you can discern it at lower left. Image courtesy of Dave McCarter (©Dave McCarter)

Dave McCarter's 2004 image of Venus near the Solar limb

Dave McCarter's 2004 image of Venus near the Solar limb

Dave McCarter took this image through an ETX90 with an objective filter. It's a fine image, and even more impressive when one realizes his OTA was buffeted by high winds at the time! Image courtesy of Dave McCarter (©Dave McCarter)

Tower for the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

Tower for the 1882 Cooke Transit of Venus Telescope

The Toronto Magnetic and Meteorological Observatory building from which the 1882 transit of Venus (ToV) was supposed to be observed survives, although it was moved to its present location subsequent to 1882. The observatory tower was built to house the high quality 152mm O.G. Thomas Cooke refractor commissioned for the ToV. The telescope also survives, and is in the collections of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.

Photograph by R.A. Rosenfeld.

portrait of Edmund Halley

portrait of Edmund Halley

This is a fine posthumous copper-plate portrait of the Rev'd Dr. Edmund Halley (1656-1742), the second Astronomer Royal (1720-1742). Halley is in many ways the father of the Transit of Venus enterprise, for he is the one who realized the practicality of using ToV observations to determine the Sun-Earth distance (the Astronomical Unit, AU), who devised a method for doing so (the so-called Halleyan Method), and who encouraged the mounting of a 1769 ToV campaign to that end, although he himself was unlikely to live to take part, or see the results.

Newfoundland 1761 - trials of a June Transit

Newfoundland 1761 - trials of a June Transit

Professor John Winthrop, Harvard College’s Hollisian Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy, successfully observed the 1761 transit from "Venus Hill", now thought to be somewhere in the vicinity of St. John's (Kenmount Hill?).

Thomas Wright's 1769 transit observations at Île aux Coudres, Lower Canada

Thomas Wright's 1769 transit observations at Île aux Coudres, Lower Canada

Thomas Wright published his successful transit observations, complete with a full disc image of the course of Venus on the Sun, and sunspots, in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, vol. 59 (1769), 273-280. This is a recreation of an 18th-century manuscript copy of his report. Image courtesy of Specula astronomica minima (©Specula astronomica minima).

Mike Mah's image of the 2004 transit in Egypt

Mike Mah's image of the 2004 transit in Egypt

In 2004 the RASC Calgary Centre organized a transit expedition, during which Mike Mah was able to take both this image of Venus transiting, and that of the sculpture of Hatshepsut to create a very effective composite picture. Image courtesy of Mike Mah. Image courtesy Mike Mah and the RASC Calgary Centre (©Mike Mah)

Mike Mah's image of internal ingress at the 2004 transit

Mike Mah's image of internal ingress at the 2004 transit

Image courtesy Mike Mah and the RASC Calgary Centre (©Mike Mah).

Thomas Wright's 1769 ToV observing station at Île aux Coudres, Lower Canada

Thomas Wright's 1769 ToV observing station at Île aux Coudres, Lower Canada

Thomas Wright, Deputy Surveyor of the Northern District of America, observed the 1769 transit of Venus successfully from Île aux Coudres in the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec. The quality of his observations was praised by the Astronomer Royal, the Rev'd Neville Maskelyne, in the pages of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions. Unbeknownst to both Wright and Maskelyne, the Île aux Coudres transit station was slap in the middle of an ancient meteorite impact site, the Charlevoix crater. This drawing is a recreation of the island site in 1769.

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