Let’s take you across the waters that, back when the Transit was first seen via telescope, weren’t all charted. Now, sail safely in the seas that astronomers of ages past took to just to observe the Transit of Venus so that they’d answer one of life’s big questions.
History of the Transit of Venus in 4 minutes
Our forebears were smart, weren’t they? The first Transit of Venus in 1639 sparked a series of expeditions, some centuries apart, to answer the question of how vast our solar system truly was.
17th century Jeremiah Horrocks – First sighing of the Transit of Venus
Fleets took to the seas to follow the disk transiting across the sun and timed it. By using the fact it took the second planet to the sun over 6 hours to cross they calculated (using triangulation techniques) the distance we, and all the other planets were, to the sun. Needless to say, this rare event played, and still does, a top role in the history of astronomy.
18th century map by Benjamin Martin – English lexicographer
19th century maps by Richard A. Proctor – English astronomer