SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Observatory for 1874 transit of Venus. Instruments used by a British astronomical expedition to observe the Venus transit of 1874. The equipment was designed to measure the time taken for Venus to pass across the Sun (an event known as a transit). The observation instrument is at upper right. The instrument at left (labelled number 1916) is the astronomical regulator used to time the event. The transit of Venus occurs twice every 113 years. Five British expeditions were organised to observe the 1874 transit of Venus, travelling to Egypt, Hawaii, Rodriguez, New Zealand and Kerguelen. This is Station B, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The combined results helped established the distance of Venus and the Sun, and hence the size of the solar system. Artwork from Pioneers of Science (Oliver Lodge, 1893).
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