Author Archives: Nick Lomb

The transit from Down Under

The position of the Sun and Venus from the beginning to the end of the transit as seen from Adelaide. Drawing Nick Lomb From New Zealand and from most of Australia all the six and a half hours of the … Continue reading

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A casualty of the 1874 transit

On Tuesday 8 May 2012 I visited Mornington, a small town about 50 km south of Melbourne that is beautifully situated on the shore of Port Phillip Bay, to talk about the transit of Venus to the Mornington & District … Continue reading

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Cook’s three voyages

A reviewer of my book Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present in the April 2012 issue of the Bulletin of The Pacific Circle queries my reference to Cook’s first voyage (1768-71) as his ‘most famous’. The reviewer, who has … Continue reading

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What telescope did Cook use?

I have received the following letter from Stuart: I recently purchased and have just finished reading your book, Transit of Venus 1631 to the Present. I would like to pass on my appreciation for the obvious effort that went into … Continue reading

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Finding longitude: 1874 transit

For any transit of Venus observing team an essential task was to determine the longitude of the observing site. This was especially important when the transit observations were to be reduced using the method proposed by the French scientist Joseph-Nicolas … Continue reading

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Why did James Cook sail to Tahiti?

In Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present I include a series of wonderful visibility maps of each transit of Venus from 1631 to 2012 that were originally published by the British populariser of astronomy Richard Anthony Proctor in 1874. … Continue reading

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Are transits and rotation linked?

Lionel asks: Congratulations on your Venus book. Excellent. I notice that there is a 243 year cycle for Transits of Venus: 243 x 365.242 = 224.7 x 395 So far so good. The axial rotation period for Venus is 243.1 … Continue reading

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How Cook navigated to Tahiti

I have received a letter from Jonathan Milne-Fowler, Lieutenant-Commander RANR (Retired) regarding my book Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present. He says, ‘I’ve just finished reading the book on the Transit of Venus and found it well written and … Continue reading

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1874 transit from Down Under (2)

In the previous post I considered the preparations of Henry Chamberlain Russell, the director of Sydney Observatory, for the 1874 transit and the magnificent illustrated book that he published on the event. Here I show a couple of the illustrations … Continue reading

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The 1874 transit from Down Under

Like the June 2012 transit of Venus, the December 1874 transit was visible in its entirety from Australia. The observatories at Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, which are the capitals of the three main states or colonies at the time, made … Continue reading

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