• Chasing Venus

  • The Race to Measure the Heavens
  • By: Andrea Wulf
  • Narrated by: Robin Sachs
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author of the highly acclaimed Founding Gardeners now gives us an enlightening chronicle of the first truly international scientific endeavor - the 18th century quest to observe the transit of Venus and measure the solar system.

On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the earth and the sun in more than a century. Through that observation, astronomers could calculate the size of the solar system - but only if they could compile data from many different points of the globe, all recorded during the short period of the transit.

Overcoming incredible odds and political strife, astronomers from Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden, and the American colonies set up observatories in remote corners of the world, only to have their efforts thwarted by unpredictable weather and warring armies. Fortunately, transits of Venus occur in pairs: eight years later, the scientists would have another opportunity to succeed.

Chasing Venus brings to life the personalities of the 18th century astronomers who embarked upon this complex and essential scientific venture, painting a vivid portrait of the collaborations, the rivalries, and the volatile international politics that hindered them at every turn. In the end, what they accomplished would change our conception of the universe and would forever alter the nature of scientific research.

©2012 Andrea Wulf (P)2012 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Fascinating history, beautifully told

Excellent history that is written well. Voice is perfect for the story. Author writes in a mesmerizing way that pulls you into the moment. Highly recommend!

5 people found this helpful

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Dedication to scientific knowledge

An amazing story about the lengths people will go for science, where luck and planning played an equal part in success. It will help to look at a detailed world map for this story of travel all over the globe.

3 people found this helpful

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everyone should listen to this book and then buyit

buy it and read it. a a a a a a a a a a a+

1 person found this helpful