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Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens
Wed May 30, 7:00–8:30pm
Weld Hill Research Building
In her new book,
Andrea Wulf tells the extraordinary story of the first global scientific collaboration, set amid warring armies, hurricanes, scientific endeavors, and personal tragedy. On June 6, 1761 and June 3, 1769, the planet Venus passed between Earth and Sun – each time visible as a small black dot against the burning face of the Sun for six hours. Transits of Venus always arrive in pairs – eight years apart – but then it takes more than a century before they are seen again. In the 1760s the world’s scientific community was electrified because the transit would allow them for the first time to calculate the distance between the planets in our solar system. This would require triangulated data to be compiled from various exact points around the globe – all taken simultaneously during the short period of the actual Transit. Join us for an intriguing glimpse at the spirit of the Enlightenment and the collaborative race to measure the heavens.
will be published in May 2012 in conjunction of the Transit of Venus on June 5/6, 2012.
a review from The Boston Globe.
Fee $10 member, $20 nonmember
Offered by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Historical Society
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is holding a special Observatory Night for viewing the Venus transit.
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