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The Transit of Venus : The Brief, Brilliant Life of Jeremiah Horrocks, Father of British Astronomy - Peter Aughton

The Transit of Venus

The Brief, Brilliant Life of Jeremiah Horrocks, Father of British Astronomy

Paperback Published: 6th March 2012
ISBN: 9781859362143
Number Of Pages: 242

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The Transit of Venus is a rare event. The story of how it was first observed is a missing chapter in the history of astronomy. Most people might name Newton or Edmund Halley as the greatest British astronomer, but both men drew heavily on the work of a mid-seventeenth-century man from Lancashire, Jeremiah Horrocks.

Horrocks was a man ahead of his time. In 1639 he was the first person to see the image of Venus on the face of the sun. He appreciated the true scale of the solar system, charted the positions of the planets more accurately than ever before, and formulated a valid theory for the wanderings of the moon. In the period before the English Civil War of 1642-49, he was considered the greatest astronomer in the kingdom.

He died at a tragically early age, but his legacy to science is quite remarkable. This book tells the story of how Horrocks came to predict and view the Transit of Venus in 1639 and emphasises the importance of his scientific legacy.

About the Author

PETER AUGHTON was born in Southport and educated at King George V School. He has always been fascinated by the great city of Liverpool and his earliest memories are of the Mersey ferries, the Overhead Railway and the shipping, the trams and the post war bomb sites. Peter has been a member of the Liverpool and District Family History Society for many years and he still gives occasional talks to the society. He is a lecturer at the University of the West of England, and his career includes twelve years in the aerospace industry.

Industry Reviews

'Tells, effectively and unpretentiously, a story which has everything: drama and discovery, poignancy and importance. Aughton genuinely retrieves a lost hero - of the scientific revolution.' - The Times

'I take my hat off to Peter Aughton for having produced such an excellent biography of that amazing young man who was Britain's first research astronomer of truly international standing... a thorough, well researched and argued and highly readable work.' - Astronomy Now

'This fascinating book charts the short but romantic life of an extraordinary man who became the father of modern astronomy.' - Daily Mail

List of figures - viii
List of plates - ix
Preface to the first edition - x
Preface to the new edition - xiii

1. The Royal Society - 1
2. Toxteth - 13
3. Cambridge - 30
4. Astronomy before Horrocks - 52
5. Horrocks Studies the Heavens - 70
6. Gravitation and Mechanics - 94
7. Transit of Venus - 113
8. The Parallax of the Sun - 133
9. The Motion of the Moon - 152
10. War - 174
11. Opera Posthuma - 186
12. Towards Posterity - 202

Horrocks of Bolton and Toxteth - 212
Aspinwall of Toxteth - 216
Chronology - 219
Glossary - 221
Notes - 225
Bibliography - 230
Index - 234

ISBN: 9781859362143
ISBN-10: 1859362141
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 242
Published: 6th March 2012
Publisher: Carnegie Publishing Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.329

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