BPAA Lecture Series 2002   

Lecture 5

Bradley Finds Aberration; Cook Finds Australia; Herschel Finds a Planet and a Galaxy

This reference has good chapters on Bradley and Herschel:

Parallax, Alan W. Hirshfeld, W. H. Freeman 2001

James Bradley biographical link
 
Atmospheric refraction and mirages
A Brief History of Optics

The following links are to a an excellent series of articles in The American Scientist on the significance of the transits of Venus with particular emphasis on the adventures of observers in the 18th century,

Transits, Travels and Tribulations I
Transits, Travels and Tribulations II
Transits, Travels and Tribulations IV
A review of Cook's first voyage
Link discussing black drop

The 18th century spawned a remarkable group of popularizers of science. The foremost of these was James Ferguson, self taught Scotsman and favorite of mine. Herschel learned his astronomy from Ferguson's book.

William Herschel's 20 foot telescope ins part of a Smithsonian Air and Space exhibit/

Smithsonian link

A woman who really knew how to treat an astronomer!