Transits men dating
It was their hope that accurate measurements of the transit could finally give scientists the data they needed to answer one of the big questions in astronomy at that time: Just how far away was the Earth from the sun?If they could answer that, they could calculate the size of the solar system as a whole.
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Before 2004, new scientific tools and methods such as radar and telemetry from spacecraft enabled scientists to be a bit more precise: 92,955,807.273 miles.
That's a specificity that Cook and his men could have only dreamed of -- and indeed they did.* Updated, AM, to note the Hornsby results.
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James Cook's measurements of the 1769 transit of Venus.
A century earlier, Edmund Halley (of Halley's Comet fame) had developed a trigonometric method for getting the absolute distance, a formula that was simplified by French astronomer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle. The data collected during the transit wasn't very good, due to weather, logistics, and observers' inexperience.