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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 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.

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Station E at Christmas Harbour, Kerguelen Island.
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.

A portable altazimuth telescope.

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A portable altazimuth telescope.
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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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
*
Send this story to a friendSend this story to a friend
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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