11 April - Venus in Batavia and Réunion
In 1761 Venus passed in front of the Sun. The planet’s transit created quite a buzz on an international scale. Using texts accessible for a lay audience, pamphlets and beautiful etchings, adepts were able to stir up tremendous enthusiasm even outside their own circles. From a scientific point of view there was much at stake: the planet’s transit would inform us of the distances in our solar system and allow us to figure out the mass of the sun and the planets. In Batavia, where the crossing was completely visible, the phenomenon was successfully observed by preacher Johannes Mohr. Later, in 1874, when Venus was due to make a similar crossing, an expedition set sail to Réunion. Everything was ready, but at the critical moment the sky was overcast.
Speaker: Dirk van Delft, Museum Boerhave director and extraordinary professor of Material Heritage of the Natural Sciences at Leiden University.
Time: 19.30 – 21.00 hours
Please consider that the program of this event is in Dutch