Jeremiah Horrocks & Transits Ancient and Modern

print this pageA Transit of Venus event from the University of Central Lancashire


Jeremiah Horrocks and Transits Ancient and Modern

A weekend residential student conference at Alston Hall and Alston Observatory, Longridge, near Preston, Lancashire: 4th - 6th June 2004

  • Presentations from a number of distinguished academic public speakers
  • Visit to Much Hoole – site of the first observation of a Transit of Venus in 1639, by Jeremiah Horrocks.
  • Opportunity (weather permitting) to use some of the telescopes of the university’s observatory and preparation for observing the Transit on June 8th.
Prof Allan Chapman
Oxford academic historian of science and popular TV history of science presenter, known for his exuberant style.
Prof Don Kurtz
Professor of astrophysics at UCLan, prolific author in his area and sought after as a public speaker both sides of the Atlantic.
Dr Mary Brück
Former astronomy lecturer at Edinburgh University, and winner of the Lorimer medal in 2001. Mary has a long-time interest in the history of astronomy and particular expertise on women astronomers.
Dr Wayne Orchiston
Formerly Executive Director of the National Observatory of New Zealand, now Archivist and Historian at the Australia Telescope National Facility, and Chair of the IAU Working Group on Historic Radio Astronomy. Wayne has more than two hundred publications, including the book Nautical Astronomy in New Zealand. The Voyages of James Cook (Carter Observatory, Wellington, 1998).
Dr Paul Marston
Tutor on the UCLan distance learning “”, and on other courses on history and philosophy of science. Author of various books on science and faith.
Dr Robert Walsh
A UCLan astrophysicist who was given the title “Scientist for the New Century” by the Royal Institution. An expert on solar physics, Dr Walsh will be talking about the Sun and what we learn by studying our closest star.
Friday 4th June

17:30 – 19:00 Registration and meet in Alston Hall bar

19:00 – 20:00 Dinner

20:00 – 20:45 Prof Don Kurtz: After Dinner Overview of Transits of Venus
21:00 – 22.00 Dr Paul Marston: Jeremiah Horrocks and the Transit

22:00 – 23:30 Tour of Alston Observatory and observing session (weather permitting)

Saturday 5th June

08:30 – 09:45 Breakfast

10:00 – Leave in cars for Much Hoole Church
10:30 – 11:15 Visit to Much Hoole Church
11:30 – 12:00 Visit to Carr House in Much Hoole

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch at Alston Hall

14:15 – 15:15 Dr Robert Walsh: The Sun - A New Encounter
15:15 – 16:00 Discussion; observing the transit

16:00 – 16:30 Tea

16:30 – 17:30 Dr Paul Marston: Cosmology and Mystery
17:30 – 19:00 Break and optional further discussion on observing the transit

19:00 – 20:00 Dinner

20:00 – 21:00 Dr Allan Chapman: Celestial Happenings
22:00 – 23:30 Observing session at Alston Observatory (weather permitting)

Sunday 6th June

08:30 – 09:45 Breakfast

10:00 – 11:00 Dr Mary Brück: (1) James Ferguson (2) The 1874 transit

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 12:30 Dr Wayne Orchiston: Transits and Tension in the Antipodes

13:00 Lunch and depart.


Please download, complete and return the application form (Word document, 73 kb), enclosing payment, to:

Nuala Jones, Department of Physics, Astronomy & Mathematics, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom




Jeremiah Horrocks painting

|Alan Chapman

Mary Bruck

Paul Marston

Robert Walsh

Alston Observatory

Alston Hall