Sunday, February 6, 2011

Transit of Venus, 2012

The next transit of Venus will occur on June 5–June 6 in 2012, succeeding the previous transit on June 8, 2004. After 2012, the next transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125.

The transit will be best viewed from the Pacific Ocean. North America will be able to see the start of the transit, while South Asia, the Middle East, and most of Europe will catch the end of it. The transit will not be visible in most of South America or western Africa.

The first voyage of James Cook was a combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific ocean aboard HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771. The aims of the expedition were to observe the 1769 transit of Venus across the Sun, and to seek evidence of the postulated Terra Australis Incognita or "unknown southern land."

Departing Plymouth in August 1768, the expedition crossed the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn and reached Tahiti in time to observe the transit of Venus. Cook then set sail into the largely uncharted ocean to the south, stopping at the Pacific islands of Huahine, Borabora and Raiatea to claim them for Great Britain, and unsuccessfully attempting to land at Rurutu. In September 1769, the expedition reached New Zealand, being the second Europeans to visit there, following its earlier discovery by Abel Tasman 127 years earlier. Cook and his crew spent the following six months charting the New Zealand coast, before resuming their voyage westward across open sea. In April 1770, they became the first Europeans to reach the east coast of Australia, making landfall on the shore of what is now known as Botany Bay.

The expedition continued northward along the Australian coastline, narrowly avoiding shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef. In October 1770, the badly damaged Endeavour came into a port in Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, her crew sworn to secrecy about the lands they had discovered. They resumed their journey on 26 December, rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 13 March 1771, and reached the English port of Deal on 12 July. The voyage lasted nearly three years.




Maori Prophecy - Waitangi Day 2011

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