Castillo: 130 years since astronomer’s visit

Ranger Joe Brehm with the National Park Service at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, reported to Historic City News in St Augustine that one hundred and thirty years ago, the French Astronomical Society was here at the fort to observe the transit of Venus across the face of the sun.

They were proud enough of their accomplishment to leave a marble plaque behind which is currently in our archives.

Starting at about 6:00 PM last Tuesday, Venus once again makes its way between earth and the sun.

“If you are wondering why this is such a big deal, data from the observations in the past helped astronomers figure out the scale of distances that our solar system occupies,” Brehm wrote. “If that isn’t cool enough, using similar techniques today, astronomers are finding planets around other stars tens, or even thousands, of light years from our Sun.”

In other news from the Castillo:

Circumstances have delayed slightly the installation of new exhibits, originally scheduled to begin the second week of next month. The installation will begin on July 23 and should be completed by mid-August.

Extended Summer Hours:

From Memorial Day through Labor Day the Castillo de San Marcos will remain open an extra hour for our summer visitors. The Fort will be open 8:45 am to 6:15 pm every day

Historic Weapons Demonstration Schedule:

The Historic Weapons Program Demonstrations are scheduled regularly at both of St Augustine’s national monuments, weather and personnel permitting; note these times and dates;


Monday; (Musket Demonstrations) Changing schedule

Friday, Saturday & Sunday; 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, & 3:30 (Cannon and/or Musket)
Other dates and times as personnel and conditions allow.

Fort Matanzas

Daytime Cannon Firings – June 2, July 7, August 4, September 1, October 6, November 3, December 8

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