Transit of Venus
With the Transit of Venus on everybody's mind, we thought we'd pull some materials that highlight past transits from the Fisher stacks.
A particular highlight is a manuscript newly catalogued recently. Titled "Astronomical observations by order of the Royal Society at Prince of Wales's Fort on the North-West coast of Hudson Bay" (click on title for catalogue record), it records the observations of the June 1769 Transit of Venus by William Wales and Joseph Dymond, who were sent to Prince of Wales Fort, Manitoba, on Hudson's Bay by the Royal Society. It's in a stunningly beautiful hand (indicated in the manuscript as William Wales's), neatly arranged in columns.
Other materials relating to the Transit of Venus include two books by James Ferguson (click on titles for catalogue records): A plain method of determining the parallax of Venus, by her transit over the sun, published in 1761, and the first American edition, from 1806, of Astronomy, explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's principles, and made easy to those who have not studied mathematics, which chronicles two separate Transits of Venus: 1639 and 1761. Images from both books can be seen below. Observations of the transit of Venus, 9 December, 1874, published in Sydney, Australia, in 1892, is illustrated with some wonderful lithograph plates, examples of which can be viewed below. (It's funky cover can be seen above.)
Lastly, two images from a 1662 early astronomy book by Johannes Hevelius which partly chronicles the 1639 Transit of Venus.
Happy viewing of this year's Transit!