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The passage of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth is called “the Transit of Venus”. It is the rarest eclipse in our solar system and occurs typically only twice every century. In the Eighteenth Century, it was of critical importance to observe and carefully measure the Transit of Venus because it would allow a more precise measurement the distances of the planets from the sun. More importantly, these numbers could be used in calculating nautical longitude. The country that could best measure longitude ruled the seas. Tune in tonight when we talk with journalist and author MARK ANDERSON about his latest book that follows several Venus transit expeditions to the ends of the earth in 1761 and 1769. These scientist adventurers braved wars, disease, hostile locals, and horrible weather all to observe a distant planet pass in front of the sun. Anderson’s amazing book is titled THE DAY THE WORLD DISCOVERED THE SUN: AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE AND THE RACE TO TRACK THE TRANSIT OF VENUS
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