Jeremiah Horrocks (1617?–1641)
Venus in sole visa
Much Hoole, Lancashire (?), ca 1639
A Cambridge mathematician, Horrocks was as certain that the sun was the centre of the solar system as Copernicus. Mercury and Venus orbited nearer the sun than Earth with Venus seen as an evening or morning star when close to the sun. In 1639 Horrocks calculated that under very rare conditions the orbit of Venus would take her directly in front of the sun. Remarkably, he calculated that this would happen within a few months. It would be more than 120 years before it would do so again.
MS Add.9320, ff. 50v–51r