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Chasing Venus: the race to measure the heavens

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Pub. Date:
2012.
Language:
English
Description

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. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;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 they could compile data from many different points of the globe, all recorded during the short period of the transit. 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 would have another opportunity to succeed. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;Chasing Venus brings to life the personalities of the eighteenth-century astronomers who embarked upon this complex and essential scientific venture, painting a vivid portrait of the collaborations, the rivalries, and the volatile international politics that hindered them at every turn. In the end, what they accomplished would change our conception of the universe and would forever alter the nature of scientific research.

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ISBN:
9780307700179
9780307989673
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 5dd98644-5216-3f30-68c2-3f94914c39c5
Grouping Title chasing venus the race to measure the heavens
Grouping Author wulf andrea
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-10-18 22:43:46PM
Last Indexed 2019-10-18 23:34:25PM

Solr Details

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author Andrea Wulf
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display_description "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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primary_isbn 9780307700179
publishDate 2012
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:CARL0000390510 Book Books English Knopf, 2012. xxvi, 304 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 25 cm.
overdrive:8f1d2957-0232-4d2a-bd16-61f3a928e5fe eAudiobook Audio Books English Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2012
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subject_facet Astronomy -- History -- 18th century
Geodetic astronomy -- History -- 18th century
Venus (Planet) -- Transit
title_display Chasing Venus : the race to measure the heavens
title_full Chasing Venus : the race to measure the heavens / Andrea Wulf
Chasing Venus The Race to Measure the Heavens
title_short Chasing Venus :
title_sub the race to measure the heavens
topic_facet Astronomy
Geodetic astronomy
History
Nonfiction
Science
Transit