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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 6, 2004 1:51:05 GMT -6
While researching past transits, I came across this quite interesting account of French Astronomer Le Gentile run of incredibly bad luck chasing the Transits of 1761, 1769 & 1875.
Washed out in New Zealand; from Illustrated London News, March 20, 1875.
Months of preparation were often negated by poor viewing conditions. As an extreme example, French astronomer Le Gentil was forced by wartime circumstances to witness the 1761 transit aboard ship, where he could obtain no accurate timing, rather than at his intended site in India. Le Gentil waited overseas eight years for the 1769 transit, only to be thwarted by unseasonable clouds the morning of the event. In his 11-year quest to time a transit, le Gentil was impeded by war, suffered bouts of dysentery, eluded near-imprisonment in Manila, escaped shipwreck, and endured stormy months at sea. However, the cloudy conditions on transit day in 1769, his second thwarted effort, were only the beginning of his woes...