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  • Title
    James Cook - Observations and remarks on the Transit of Venus, 3 June 1769 [incomplete]
  • Creator
  • Call number
    Safe 1/66
  • Level of description
  • Date

    3 June 1769
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    0.03 metres of textual material (1 box) - manuscript

    In 1768 the Royal Society petitioned King George III to mount an expedition to observe the Transit of Venus, due to take place on 3 June 1769. James Cook was promoted to Lieutenant and appointed to command HM Bark Endeavour. Charles Green, an astronomer and former assistant to the Astronomer Royal, was appointed an observer. Joseph Banks and his company of scientists were among the 94 people on the voyage. The ship left England on 25 August 1768, arriving at Matavai Bay, Tahiti, on 13 April 1769. A fort was constructed, then an observatory was set up. The observations of the transit were made on 3 June. Other astronomical observations were made from 10 May until the observatory was dismantled on 8 July.
  • Scope and Content
    A half sheet of paper written on both sides in Cook's handwriting and with his signature. It is part of the fair copy of two other documents containing observations and remarks on the Transit of Venus in the volume of James Cook papers transferred to the Mitchell Library from the Australian Museum and held at Safe 1/83. When acquired this half sheet was encased in a glass frame from which it has been removed.
  • General note

    Charles Green made a report to the Royal Society of observations made by himself and James Cook. The report is described in the guide to the Society's records as: 'C. Green and Capt. J. Cook Observations made at King George's Island in South Seas, April-June 1769'; in Green's hand (9 pages), in records of The Royal Society vol. 48 item 257 (AJCP microfilm reel M 1930).
    Cook's observations and diagrams were published in the paper: "Observations made, by appointment of the Royal Society, at King George's Island in the South Sea; by Mr. Charles Green, formerly Assistant at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and Lieut. James Cook, of his Majesty's Ship the Endeavour", Philosophical Transactions (pub. by the Royal Society) vol.61, 1771, pp. 397-421.

    Microfilm available at CY 4477, frames 1 - 13
    Digital order no:Album ID : 874414
  • Subject
  • Place
  • Exhibited in

    Dare to know : the art and science of Pacific voyages - State Library of New South Wales (1 June - 28 November, 1998)
    Possessed : an exhibition of treasures - State Library of New South Wales (March, 1997 - June, 1997)
    Transit of Venus - Sydney Observatory
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