Chasing Venus by Andrea Wulf
The Race to Measure the Heavens

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The rest is like an astonishing pre-Verne Around the World in Eighty Days. The science is grounded at the start of the book professionally enough to satisfy the reviewers of Nature and New Scientist; the rest is adventure story, against the clock.
-Guardian

Synopsis

On two days in 1761 and 1769 hundreds of astronomers pointed their telescopes towards the skies to observe a rare astronomical event: the transit of Venus across the face of the sun. United by this momentous occasion, scientists from around the globe came together to answer the essential question: how can the universe be measured? In "Chasing Venus" Andrea Wulf paints a vivid portrait of the rivalries, triumphs and misfortunes that befell these men, along with their passion and determination to succeed. This extraordinary book tells their story and how one single event prompted the first international scientific collaboration.
 

About Andrea Wulf

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Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in London, where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of "The Brother Gardeners," long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2008 and winner of the American Horticultural Society 2010 Book Award, and of "Founding Gardeners"; she is also the coauthor (with Emma Gieben-Gamal) of "This Other Eden: Seven Great Gardens and 300 Years of English History." She has written for "The Sunday Times," "Financial Times," "The Wall Street Journal," and "Los Angeles Times," and she reviews for several newspapers, including "The New York Times," "The Guardian," and "The Times Literary Supplement." www.andreawulf.com
 
Published January 1, 2013 by Windmill Books. 336 pages
Genres: History, Science & Math.
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Jan 29 2013

The rest is like an astonishing pre-Verne Around the World in Eighty Days. The science is grounded at the start of the book professionally enough to satisfy the reviewers of Nature and New Scientist; the rest is adventure story, against the clock.

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