ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transit of Venus chart, egress 2 (exterior contact). This transit took place on 8-9 December 1874. Such transits (where Venus passes across the Sun as seen from the Earth) are rare, occurring in pairs over 100 years apart. The 19th-century transits (1874 and 1882) saw expeditions to make observations on interior and exterior contact for both ingress (first contact) and egress (last contact). Locations included New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Kerguelen, Mauritius, India, and the Dutch East Indies. The results helped establish the distances of Venus and the Sun, and hence the size of the solar system.
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