- Transit of Venus – book and ebook

‘Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present’ by Dr Nick Lomb
Available as both book and ebook

'Transit of Venus: 1631 to the present' book cover

‘Transit of Venus’ book cover

The book explains the significance of the transit of Venus and relates the stories of the adventurous and sometimes perilous journeys undertaken to observe transits in past centuries. These include Lieutenant James Cook’s voyage to observe the transit of 1769 from Tahiti, a journey that led to the European settlement of Australia.

Available at Sydney Observatory and Powerhouse Museum shops and other good bookstores for $49.95, also available for purchase online – additional charges apply for online purchases.

The ebook is available on the iBookstore for $14.99. It is enhanced with searchable text and links to additional content such as astronomical objects in the Powerhouse Museum collection; a NASA video, ‘Flying by a Venus Volcano’; and an online version of the book, ‘Observations of the Transit of Venus, 9 December, 1874’ by then Director of Sydney Observatory, H. C. Russell. The maps showing the change in pattern of day and night across the Earth from the beginning to the end of transits have been animated, as have some of the other graphics. There is also an embedded video of the author, Dr Nick Lomb, in Sydney Observatory’s south dome, demonstrating the historic telescope that was used by H. C. Russell to observe the 1874 transit, and which is still used to show visitors the night sky during regular telescope sessions. The ebook can be viewed using iBooks 1.2 or later on an iPad, iPhone (3G or later) or iPod touch (2nd generation or later) with iOS 4.2 or later.

Nick Lomb, the author of 'Transit of Venus, 1631 to the present', at the site in Goulburn from where a Sydney Observatory team observed the 1874 transit

Nick Lomb at the site in Goulburn from where a Sydney Observatory team observed the 1874 transit

About the author
Dr Nick Lomb was Curator of Astronomy at Sydney Observatory for thirty years (1979-2009). He continues to work as a consultant astronomer for Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum and for Sydney Observatory. He is the author of the ‘Australasian Sky Guide’, published annually by the Powerhouse Museum, as well as several books on astronomy including ‘Astronomy for the Southern Sky’ (1986) and ‘Observer & Observed: A pictorial history of Sydney Observatory and Observatory Hill’ (2001). He led Sydney Observatory’s observations and celebrations of the transit of Venus in 2004.

Book launch photos, video and transcript
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