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The transit of Venus

What is a transit of Venus?
Captain Cook and the transit of Venus
The 1874 Transit of Venus
Station A - Egypt
Station B - Honolulu, Hawaii
Station C - Rodriguez Island
Station D - New Zealand
Station E - Kerguelen Island
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Station B - Honolulu, Hawaii

The Royal Observatory sent three parties to the Hawaiian (Sandwich) Islands in 1874, including one to Honolulu. Upon arriving there, the group was greeted by King Kalakaua and his Ministers. The King gave the party a piece of open land, rent free, in the southern extreme of the town and Princess Ruth gave up her residence nearby so that the party could be housed near to their instruments.
 
While the transit itself passed without event, this group suffered many environmental problems, including an earthquake a few weeks after the transit and a storm that caused a tree to fall perilously close to the telescopes.

Station B - Honlulu, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii)
View full size imageStation B - Honlulu, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). © NMM

A photoheliograph for Station B (Honolulu).

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A photoheliograph for Station B (Honolulu).
The photoheliograph ready to be shipped to Station B at Honolulu.

The equatorial telescope for Station B.

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The equatorial telescope for Station B.
The equatorial telescope and regulator ready for Station B.
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The house used by the Station B astronomers.

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The house used by the Station B astronomers.
The house at Honolulu that accommodated the astronomers from Station B. The astronomers taking part in the expeditions were encouraged to introduce themselves to the local governors when they arrived at their chosen station.

Astronomers at Station B, Honolulu, with a fallen coconut tree.

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Astronomers at Station B, Honolulu, with a fallen coconut tree.
The astronomers at Station B in Honolulu. The astronomers are posing with a blown-down coconut tree, which had nearly destroyed their apparatus when it fell!
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Huts at Station B, Honolulu.

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Huts at Station B, Honolulu.
The bathing tent and the sappers' cook-house at Station B at Honolulu.

The huts at Station B, Honolulu.

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The huts at Station B, Honolulu.
Two astronomers with the equipment huts at Station B in Honolulu.
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Astronomers using the model at Station B, Honolulu.

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Astronomers using the model at Station B, Honolulu.
Astronomers at Station B practicing with a model in preparation for the Transit of Venus.

A glass negative of the Transit of Venus of 1874.

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A glass negative of the Transit of Venus of 1874.
A glass negative of the Transit of Venus taken from Station B, with one exposure of the planet Venus crossing the Sun’s limb.
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What is a transit of Venus?
Captain Cook and the transit of Venus
The 1874 Transit of Venus
Station A - Egypt
Station B - Honolulu, Hawaii
Station C - Rodriguez Island
Station D - New Zealand
Station E - Kerguelen Island
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Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

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Find out more
Transit of Venus 8th June 2004
Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
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StoriesGreenwich and the story of time
Find out why Greenwich is the home of Mean Time and the Prime Meridian
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Stories'The Centre of Time and Space'
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Related Resources
Related Images1 Images
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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