The Importance of the Transit of Mercury of 1631

  title={The Importance of the Transit of Mercury of 1631},
  author={albert van helden},
  journal={Journal for the History of Astronomy},
  pages={1 - 10}
  • A. van helden
  • Published 1 February 1976
  • Physics
  • Journal for the History of Astronomy
When the historian of astronomy writes about the historical importance of transits of Venus and Mercury across the Sun, it is usually with reference to the internationally coordinated observations of the eighteenth century, designed to produce an accurate measure of solar parallax.' Often their effects on the accuracy of the tables of Venus and Mercury are also discussed." The first transit ever observed, however, that of Mercury of 1631, was important for an entirely different reason: it… 

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Mathematical Details



500. 29. Ibid., 500-1. 30. Ibid., 501. 31. Ibid., 501. 32. Ibid

    Istoria e dimostrazioni intorno aile macchie solari

      Maestlin challenged Kepler's explanation in Disputatio de multivariis motuum planetarum in coelo apparentibus irregularitatibus, seu regularibus inaequalitatibus, earumque causis astronomicis

        Phaenomenon singulare seu mercurius in sole

          History ofphysical astronomy (London, 1852),212; Antoni Pannekoek, A history of astronomy

          • 1959

          Pro voto & admonitio Kepleri. Epistolae duae cum observatis quibusdam aliis (Paris, 1632), in Opera omnia (6 vols

          • Mercurius in sole visus et Venus invisa Parisiis mdcxxxi

          Martini Hortensi Delfensis dissertatio de Mercurio in Sole visa et Venere invisa

            Except in the case of Venus whose apparent diameter at perigee was given by Riccioli as 4'8". Hortensius's values were also reported by Pierre Herigone in his Cursus mathematicus