Chasing Venus: Observing the Transits of Venus 1631-2004
What is a Transit of Venus?
Discovering the Transits: The 1631 and 1639 Transits
Measuring the Universe: The 1761 and 1769 Transits
New Possibilities: The 1874 and 1882 Transits
The Transits of 2004 and 2012
Credits and Financial Support
Education and Events
Resources and Links

Chasing Venus
Observing the Transits of Venus
1631 - 2004

Periodically the planet Venus passes directly between Earth and the Sun, appearing as a small black dot on the Sun's disk. Since astronomers first became aware of them in 1631, these "transits of Venus" have fascinated astronomers because of their rarity and their potential to help scientists measure the solar system. The expeditions that set out to observe transits from remote locations paved the way for a new era of scientific exploration - yet never managed to unlock the transits' secrets.

"Chasing Venus" tells the story of astronomers' pursuit of this phenomenon, through rare books and articles written on the subject over the last four centuries. The exhibit also marks the sixth observed transit of Venus, in June 2004.

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