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Station E - Kerguelen Island

The Reverend S. J. Perry led his party to Kerguelen Island after the region had been surveyed by Captain Sir George Nares on HMS Challenger.

In his report from the day of the transit Perry wrote:
'The morn had been very fine, but the clouds were thickening fast.  Unfortunately a dense cloud settled just over the Sun for about 20 minutes, and there was scarcely a breath of wind to move it.'

Station E - Kerguelen Island
View full size imageStation E - Kerguelen Island. © NMM

Station E at Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen Island.

Station E at Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen Island.

A portable altazimuth telescope.

A portable altazimuth telescope.

The photograph shows several observing sheds. The paper labels stuck separately onto the top corners of the glass negative give details of the photograph including the date as November 1874. The top left hand corner of the negative is broken and the surface shows several scratches. The inscription on one label is ‘Nov 12th 1874. S. J. P.’ - the initials of the Rev S. J. Perry, astronomer and chief photographer on the team sent to Station E at Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen Island.

This was one of the five altazimuth instruments commissioned from Troughton and Simms for the British Transit of Venus expeditions of 1874. An altazimuth instrument is a telescope with scales and mounting that allow both local coordinates - the altitude and the azimuth - of a star to be measured without the need of any additional apparatus.
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