Transit of Mars Across Jupiter in 1170 AD

Observation Recorded by Gervase of Canterbury and Chinese Astronomers

Gervase Records:

"On the Ides of September, at midnight, two planets were seen in conjunction to such a degree that it appeared as though they had been one and the same star; but immediately they were separated from each other."

The transit takes place from 19:56 to 20:50 GMT but the pair rose at 20:48 GMT. The transit was in process as they rose as a result they quickly separated as describe by Gerase.

Chinese Records:
The map of the Earth highlights the regions that saw the full transit. Obviously England was just at the edge of that area. Observers in China regularly recorded astronomical events and this transit was recorded by observers in Beijing. Mars and Jupiter approached each other high in the Chinese sky and the observers would have seen the two come together. In tables of observations published in "Compilation of Astronomical Chapters in the 24 Histories" (China Book-House, Beijing, 1975) the event was recorded in tables as an occultation.

Highlighted Area Showing the Regions in which the Transit of Mars over the Disk of Jupiter was Visible.
Back to List of Occulations