Mark Anderson's "The Day the World Discovered the Sun: an Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and the Race to Track the Transit of Venus"
Andrea Wulf's "Chasing Venus: the Race to Measure the Heavens"
Both tell the exciting tales of when18th century scientists competed, in 1761 &1769, to use the transit of Venus to discover the physical dimensions of the solar system and refine the methods of discovering longitude at sea.
This should be a (Star)Blast!!! Enjoy!