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  University of Notre Dame   
and the 
Transit of Venus   


"Touchdown Jesus" Sunrise on the campus of University of Notre Dame, June 9, 2003, at 6:00 a.m. EST (near time of third contact in 2004).  On June 8th, sunrise near South Bend, IN, is technically 5:10 a.m. EST.  The third contact of Venus (internal egress) begins at approximately 6:05 a.m. EST. 

When the 1884 transit of Venus approached, the University of Notre Dame was equipped with its telescope given by Napoleon III.  Robert J. Havlik, Emeritus Librarian, relates the outcome of the efforts by professors and students in this article presented at NDVI, a history of astronomy conference. 

Robert Havlik details the history of the Napoleon III telescope and astronomy education at University of Notre Dame.

Thomas Paine's Footnote on the Transit of Venus; from Robert J. Havlik, Emeritus Librarian, University of Notre Dame. 

Thomas Paine ( 1737 -1809) was an English born, American political figure, philosopher and author of FOOTNOTE ON THE TRANSIT OF VENUS. Paine's The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and False Theology, 1794-96, was the results of his years of study and reflection on the place of religion in society.  Popular and controversial in its time, it also touches on Paineís interest in science and astronomy. The work is still in print.

In Paineís introduction to his theories on the plurality of worlds, he describes the planetary system as known at the time in terms of Keplerís Laws. He then uses the observation of the Transit of Venus as a practical application of the laws.

Copyright ©2003-2008 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.