Transits men dating

Posted by / 20-Jun-2017 22:34

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.

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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.