Transiting the Sun:
Venus and the Key to the Size of the Cosmos

by John Woodruff

Monograph, 18pp + 4pp plates. June 2012 saw an occurrence of one of the rarest of celestial events—a transit of Venus, in which the planet is visible as a tiny black dot crossing the face of the Sun. Only six previous transits had ever been observed before, and the next is not until 2117. Observing transits of Venus led astronomers to a way to measure the distance to the Sun—a vital key to unlocking the scale of the cosmos. The story of these observations is as much a tale of human endeavour as of scientific progress.

“I know of no other single study of the transits of Venus that gets so much, so clearly and so comprehensibly, into some twenty pages, and I warmly congratulate John Woodruff on his achievement.”—Allan Chapman, in the Foreword