AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 1 HAD I: Transit of Venus
Division Special Session, Sunday, January 4, 2004, 2:00-5:00pm, Courtland

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[1.05] David Peck Todd and the transit of 1882: A loverís triangle forms while an astronomer triangulates the distance to the Sun

W. P. Sheehan (Independent Scholar)

The transit of Venus of 1882 was a remarkable event, the last transit in the 19th century and the last one to occur until our own time. Among those who undertook to study the transit was David Todd of Amherst College, who, when he was not included in the U.S. Naval Observatoryís expeditions, was hired by the Lick Observatory trust to observe the transit from their site-in-development, Mt. Hamilton. Todd went west for the transit just as his wife and Austin Dickinson, Emilyís brother, crossed a Rubicon in their love-affair. He successfully photographed the transit from Mt. Hamilton and the plates have survived. In time for the 2004 transit, Tony Misch of Lick and I have scanned them and presented them in cinematographic form and our transit-of-Venus movie will receive its American premiere.


The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sheehan41@charter.net.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.