Captain Cook and the transit of Venus of 1769

  title={Captain Cook and the transit of Venus of 1769},
  author={Richard Woolley},
  journal={Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London},
  pages={19 - 32}
  • R. Woolley
  • Published 1 June 1969
  • Physics, Geology
  • Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London
The motions of the planets among the stars even if observed with instruments capable of no greater accuracy than one minute of arc can be analysed to produce orbits whose relative sizes are known quite accurately. Kepler, for example, gave the correct shape of the planetary orbits as ellipses with the Sun in one focus. He was also able to assert that the squares of the periodic times were proportional to the cubes of the semi axes major, without being able to determine the length of any one of… 

Figures from this paper

From the Transits of Venus to the Birth of Experimental Psychology

I trace the attempts to determine the Earth-Sun distance, which is based on measurements of the solar parallax, from the naked-eye observations of Aristarchus of Samos in antiquity to observations of

Richard van der Riet Woolley, 24 April 1906 - 24 December 1986

  • W. Mccrea
  • Physics
    Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
  • 1988
For the almost three centuries from the appointment of John Flamsteed in 1675 to the retirement of Richard Woolley in 1971, the office of Director of the Royal Observatory and the title Astronomer

‘A Practical Skill that Was Without Equal’:Carsten Niebuhr and the navigational astronomy of the Arabian journey, 1761–7

Carsten Niebuhr was the astronomer/cartographer for the Danish expedition to Arabia in 1761–7. He established the practicality of Tobias Mayer's lunar distance method for determining longitude, which

History of Venus Observations

Our image of Venus is that of a hellish, hot planet, permanently covered by fast-moving clouds, with its surface inaccessible to any Earth-based observer. But the perception and knowledge of our