ISBN: 9781615190553
Published: April 3, 2012
Price: $24.95 US
Paperback: 240 pages
Buy the Book
Transit of Venus
1631 to the Present

A visually spectacular guide to the history, science and significance of Venus’s rare transits across the sun—the perfect companion to the transit on June 5, 2012 (the last one until 2117!)

A transit of Venus is one of the rarest and most historically significant planetary alignments—since the invention of the telescope in 1608, there have been only seven. A must-have for all sky-watchers, Transit of Venus is packed with scientific and historical context—for example, astronomers calculated the distance from Earth to the Sun by studying the 1769 transit, which Captain Cook famously sailed to uncharted Tahiti to observe. Here also is an unsurpassed breadth of visual material: NASA photographs of Venus, illustrated observations of earlier transits, and rarely published images of the instruments and expeditions made to study them. With this book, the grandeur and history of transits will be accessible to everyone interested in the ceaseless, wondrous movements of the planets in our solar system.

“In his new book, Nick Lomb, longtime curator of astronomy at Australia’s Sydney Observatory, gives the complete rundown on this astronomical event.”
The Washington Post

“[Lomb] has produced a lavishly illustrated book that covers the human side of transits of Venus in addition to describing the scientific interest….Lomb’s book covers so many aspects of transits that, with its clear writing and beautiful illustrations, it should be of great interest to all.”
The Key Reporter, published by Phi Beta Kappa

“[A] gorgeous book...worth every penny.”
The Australian

“Everyone should see the transit of Venus in June 2012, since it is the last chance until 2117. And everyone should read Nick Lomb’s fascinating book, which beautifully and dramatically highlights both the history and scientific importance of the transit of Venus.”
Professor Jay M. Pasachoff, Vice Chair, Historical Astronomy, Division of the American Astronomical Society

“This is exactly what a great astronomy book should be: comprehensive, highly informative, yet very accessible for lay readers, and beautifully illustrated to showcase the glory of the heavens.”
—Dr. Kevin Fewster, Director, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich, UK

“With this superb and lavishly illustrated book, astronomer Nick Lomb has provided the complete guide to Venus transits past and present. Essential reading for everyone.”
—Professor Fred Watson, Astronomer-in-Charge, Australian Astronomical Observatory

Nick Lomb was Curator of Astronomy at the Sydney Observatory for over thirty years (1979-2010). He continues to work as a consultant astronomer for the Sydney Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory. He is the author of the Australian Sky Guide, published annually by the Powerhouse Museum, as well as several books on astronomy including Astronomy for the Southern Sky (1986) and the catalogue produced for the Powerhouse Museum’s exhibition on the 2004 transit of Venus, Transit of Venus: The Scientific Event that Led Captain Cook to Australia (2004).