December 4, 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observations on the transit of Venus.

On this day (December 4), 1639, Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observations on the transit of Venus.
Jeremiah Horrocks was born in 1618 and was an English astronomer . He was the first person to show that the Moon moved around the Earth in an elliptical orbit; and was the only person to predict the 1639 transit of Venus, an event that he and his friend William Crabtree were the only two people to observe and record.
Jeremiah was introduced to astronomy early; his childhood tasks included measuring the local noon used to set local clocks, and his Puritan-Protestant upbringing instilled an abiding suspicion of astrology , the sorcery and magic .
In 1632 Horrocks enrolled at Emmanuel College at the Cambridge University as sizar (scholarship student) . At Cambridge he associates with the mathematician John Wallis and the Platonist , John Worthington . At the time he was one of the few at Cambridge to accept Copernicus' revolutionary heliocentric theory and studied the works of Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe and others.
Now committed to the study of astronomy, Horrocks began collecting astronomical books and equipment; in 1638 he owned the best telescope he could find. Liverpool was a seafaring city, so navigational instruments like the astrolabe and the crossed stick were easy to find. But there was no market for the highly specialized astronomical instruments he needed, so his only option was to make his own.
Horrocks' observations allowed him to make an educated guess about the size of Venus, previously thought to be larger and closer to Earth, and estimate the distance between Earth and the Sun, now known as the astronomical unit (AU) . His figure of 95 million kilometers (0.63 AU) was far from the 150 million kilometers known today, but more accurate than anything suggested at the time.
As a curiosity to comment that Horrocks commented on the transit of Venus: "Then I contemplated a most pleasant sight, the object of my optimistic desires...I could hardly have wished for a longer period"
-------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- ---
- look!
- what!
- Venus!
- in the clouds?
- no, beyond
- do you see U's beyond?
- U's?
- That's what you said
- I said "Venus"
- well I don't see U's
- no, no... I see a planet called Venus
- a planet called "Come U's"?
-not
- because they are full of U's everywhere or because the planet is a very big U?
- leave it
- well I don't see any U
- equals...
.

Leave a comment

Please note that comments must be approved before being published.