Jeremiah Horrocks, Samuel Foster,
Nathaniel Nye - A Detective Story
– by Mike Frost
Jeremiah Horrocks, Samuel Foster, Nathaniel Nye - A Detective Story
- a talk by Mike Frost
was the first man to predict and then observe a Transit of Venus, in November
1639. It’s well known that he contacted two other people, to ask them to
look out for the Transit. Horrocks’s brother,
Jonas, was unable to see the spectacle from Toxteth,
Lancashire, because of cloud. William Crabtree,
of Broughton, Manchester, had more luck, and
was able to corroborate Horrocks’s observations
from Much Hoole, Lancashire.
It is much less well known that Jeremiah
Horrocks attempted to warn a third astronomer
– Samuel Foster, who had been Professor of Astronomy at
When I started to research the life of Foster I found out that he was part
of a group of pioneering astronomers active in the Midlands of England in
the years around the English Civil War.
This talk is about Samuel Foster and
his fellow observers – John Twysden, John Palmer
and Walter Foster. The story leads on to the mysterious figure of Nathaniel
Nye, “mathematitian, astronomer, and master gunner
of the city of Worcester”.
Next talk Jeremiah Horrocks and New England
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