Chasing Venus

I’ve been reading this book, and it’s in the same highly rated “science adventure” category that my favorite read from last year was, “The Sun Kings”.

Chasing Venus Chronicles the many international scientists who participated in science expeditions traversing all four “corners” of the globe to witness and record the transit of Venus, which happens twice a century.

The story includes national pride, astronomers who were able to get funding based on national pride or the promise of providing their trade route ship captains with better navigational aids.

The ultimate goal was by having so many participants involved triangulate so they could calculate the distance between the Sun and Earth.

The story takes place in 1761 and 1769.

What I especially liked was the different exciting story threads that Andrea Wulf intertwines – expedition, scientific pursuit and discovery, and national pride. During 1761, the expeditioners had to avoid military battles during the 7 Years War!

This is a wonderful escape from the political lunacy I try so desperately to avoid, but man, it really has gotten batshit insane.

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