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    Re: transit of venus 1769
    From: J Cora
    Date: 2006 May 29, 16:58 -0500

    Greetings George,

    Not being sure about the link below and after checking it again
    it looks to be good.   It appears to be a text abstract from a
    journal article that I think requires payment for the original.

    A recommendation, use the print button at the top of the article
    and save it, avoids having to go through page after page of links.
    Not sure about popups since I have them blocked as I am still on
    dialup due to a very customer unfriendly telco here.

    Looking at the content of the article again, I noticed that it states
    that James Short died before the 1769 transit of venus and that
    his mathematical reductions were from the 1761 transit.
    I had been reading the article trying to understand the mathematics
    that were used for the parallax measurements and missed that
    and some other details.

    Another thing mentioned in the article is that James Short studied
    under Colin Maclaurin, a mathematician known for his work in
    infinite series of trigonometric functions.

    I especially like the mactutor site for math history so for more on


    The above link states that James Short's paper is contained in the
    Transactions fo the Royal Society for the year 1763.

    George Huxtable wrote:
    > Coralline Algae wrote-
    > "The reference for the role of james short in the analysis
    > of the transit of venus data.
    > http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3789/is_200312/ai_n9303510
    > or search on   teets  and  transit of venus"
    > Which presented a bit of a puzzle! The web page provided was the home
    > of a search page (though overlaid with an infuriating popup
    > advertisement), and a more specific reference to a relevant page about
    > James Short's role in the analysis of the transit of Venus
    > observations would be useful. Perhaps he was brought in because of his
    > expertise on telescopes and their defects. Cook's expedition carried
    > at least one of Short's telescopes. I would like to learn a bit more
    > about Short's part in those proceedings, if Coralline can help me get
    > there.
    > Hornsby, rather than Hadley, seems the right name for the other party
    > in the analysis. He was Professor of Astronomy at the Radcliffe
    > Observatory, at the University here in Oxford.
    > As for Lomonosov, Coralline Algae is quite right that he correctly
    > deduced that Venus had an atmosphere, from his observations of the
    > transit of 1761. That was not from the appearance of any "black drop",
    > but from his view of a "halo" around the outside edge of the planet,
    > as the inside edge started to bite into the Sun. That was a real
    > observable effect of the planet's atmosphere, whereas the "black drop"
    > was not. There's a short letter on the subject in the journal "The
    > Observatory", vol. 121, No. 1162, pp. 176 - 178, June 2001, on "Venus
    > and refraction", Andrew T Young, of the Astronomy Depertment, San
    > Diego State University. Andy Young is a recognised authority (perhaps
    > THE recognised authority) on optical effects in the Earth's
    > atmosphere, and his work on refraction has informed several past
    > discussions on Nav-l.
    > These effects are discussed in more detail in F. Link, "Eclipse
    > phenomena in astronomy", 1969, pp 205-216.
    > That mid-18th century period was one of great interest in the history
    > of astronomy and navigation, and of science and human curiosity in
    > general, which was finally escaping from the bounds imposed by
    > religion and classical tradition. Even when so many wars were going
    > on, scientists were collaborating in an international effort. Good to
    > see that it's caught the interest of Coralline Algae.
    > George.
    > contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    > or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    > or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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