1882 Account of Chicago's Venus Transit... Jun 4, 2004 8:17:32 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 4, 2004 8:17:32 GMT -6
Chicago Venus Transit Account of 1882
December 7, 1882
Across the Sun’s Face
Good Observations of the Transit of Venus - Chicago, IL – clear
Crowds viewing the rare phenomenon – smoked glass and telescopes in demand – observations taken at Columbia college and elsewhere.
The slow transit of the planet Venus across the disk of the sun was observed in the City yesterday by thousands of amateur astronomers, and, judging by the comments of the gazers, the observations were remarkably satisfactory to them, whatever may be the result of the experiments of the scientists. The day broke dark and cloudy, and the predictions that the day was to be characterized by a storm of rain or snow seemed likely to be verified. But before the time set for the opening of the celestial panorama the clouds cleared away, and by 9 o’clock the sun was shining from a comparatively clear sky…
The transit of Venus was a popular exhibition and as it had been widely advertised in advance as the last performance for 122 years everybody who could possibly get a sight of the show embraced the opportunity. A very satisfactory view was obtained through smoked glasses, but the speck which was made on the disk of the sun by the planet was so small that it required some time of close application to the glass before it was recognizable. The dark spot appeared no larger than a small sized dried pea… Enterprising proprietors of telescopes of all sizes and powers stationed themselves in favorable places all over the City, and reaped a large harvest by exhibiting the planet on its journey across the sun at the rate of 10 cents a sight. In the City Hall Park a telescope was erected, and so great was the rush of people to take a look through it that the services of a Park policeman were required to keep them in line awaiting their turn. Once at the telescope a view of a few seconds only was allowed, and by actual count 20 men peered through the glass in 5 minutes… An interesting phenomenon was noticed between the first and second contact at 9:21:51. The part of Venus’s disk not yet on the sun was faintly surrounded by a semicircle of light, and at 9:24:11 this semicircle was very beautifully seen from and astronomical point of view…
(Courtesy of Cincinatti's Observation Center)
WOW....Ten cents a shot! I could clean up and actually fill up my tank with premium!