Skip to main content

Transit of Venus

Images Related to the Transit of Venus.

Warren de la Rue's 1868 chart of the path of Venus in 1882

Warren de la Rue's 1868 chart of the path of Venus in 1882

Predicted path of Venus on the Sun during the 1882 ToV in relation to the field of the Kew photoheliograph, published by the pioneering astrophotographer Warren de la Rue in 1868.  This copy is from the relatively rare Correspondence Between the Treasury, the Admiralty, and the Astronomer Royal, Respecting the Arrangements to be Made for Observing the Transits of Venus, Which Will Take Place in the Years 1874 and 1882 printed in the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers XLVII (1869).

Sir G.B. Airy's 1868 map of possible ToV stations - II

Sir G.B. Airy's 1868 map of possible ToV stations - II

A second version of Airy's 1868 ToV observing map showing some locations for possible Canadian stations. This copy is from the relatively rare Correspondence Between the Treasury, the Admiralty, and the Astronomer Royal, Respecting the Arrangements to be Made for Observing the Transits of Venus, Which Will Take Place in the Years 1874 and 1882 printed in the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers XLVII (1869). Image courtesy of Specula astronomica minima (©Specula astronomica minima).

Sir G.B. Airy's 1868 map of possible ToV stations - I

Sir G.B. Airy's 1868 map of possible ToV stations - I

In 1868 Sir Geroge Biddell Airy published a paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society setting forth plans he and the Hydrographer of the Navy had developed for the British ToV expeditions of 1874 and 1882. It is those plans, and this and similar maps which Richard Proctor attacked. Note the possible Canadian ToV observaing stations on the map.

R.A. Proctor

R.A. Proctor

Lithographic caricature of Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-1888). Proctor was the most important and influential popularizer of astronomy of his time. Unlike the majority of today's popularizers, Proctor was capable of thoroughly understanding the cutting-edge fundamental research of his day, commenting on and influencing it, and himself making real contributions to that work. He used the opportunity of the 1874 and 1882 ToVs to make a name for himself in society at large by attacking Sir Geroge Biddell Airy's ToV plans, both in the specialist literatrure and in popular media.

Sir George Biddell Airy

Sir George Biddell Airy

Lithographic caricature of Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), seventh Astronomer Royal (1835-1881). Airy was the prime architect of the British Imperial campaign for the 1874 and 1882 ToVs. He was one of only five 19th-early 20th century astronomers to be "honoured" by a cartoon in Vanity Fair. Image courtesy of Specula astronomica minima (©Specula astronomica minima).

Greenwich Observatory

Greenwich Observatory

A late-Georgian engraving of Flamsteed House, Greenwich Observatory. If one can speak of an operational nerve centre of the 18th-century British ToV campaign - including observations made in Canada - it would be of this building, the "seat" of the Astronomer Royal. Image courtesy of Specula astronomica minima (©Specula astronomica minima).

Rev'd Dr. Nevil Maskelyne

Rev'd Dr. Nevil Maskelyne

Britain's fifth Astronomer Royal, the Rev'd Dr. Nevil Maskelyne (1732-1811), was a central figure in the planning of the 1769 British ToV expeditions. He advised on the appropriate instruments, developed observing protocols, helped select the appropriate personnel for the observing teams, received and corrected reports of observations, and transmitted data to others. He appears to have done so with good humour and efficiency, for the most part. His importance for the realization of the Canadian ToV data cannot be overemphasised.

In transit readiness!

In transit readiness!

A battery of SCTs in readiness for observing the 2004 transit of Venus on the observing deck of the College of Charleston Observatory, Charleston SC. Image courtesy of Dave Gallant (©Dave Gallant)

Digiscoping the transit

Digiscoping the transit

Image by Dave Gallant, by the simplest of methods - holding a simple point-and-shoot 3.1 megapixel to a telescope eyepiece. It works! Image courtesy of Dave Gallant (©Dave Gallant)

Drama of Venus seen transiting through the clouds in 2004

Drama of Venus seen transiting through the clouds in 2004

Dave Gallant took this dramatic image while observing the 2004 transit of Venus at the College of Charleston Observatory, in historic Charleston SC. Image courtesy of Dave Gallant (©Dave Gallant)

Syndicate content