Chapter ID: CBB421650298

Astronomy on Cook’s Third Voyage: Queen Charlotte Sound, 1777 (2016)


Cook’s Third Voyage to the South Seas was undertaken in search of an assumed ‘northwest passage’ linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Once again two ex-Whitby colliers were involved, the Resolution under the command of Captain James Cook, and the Discovery, skippered by Lieutenant Charles Clerke. Following up from his Second Voyage experience, Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer William Bayly was again assigned to this voyage, and served on board the Discovery, while Cook and Second Lieutenant James King shared the astronomical responsibilities on the Resolution. This voyage only involved a single short stop-over in Queen Charlotte Sound, during which further astronomical observations were made for the calculation of latitude and longitude. These built on the very extensive series taken during the various Second Voyage stop-overs in the Sound. The final result, reported in this chapter, differs little from the currently-accepted values, and shows the level of precision these early astronomers were able to achieve with what today would be regarded as inferior instruments.

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Authors & Contributors
Williams, Glyndwr
Reiss, Timothy J.
Starr, Gabrielle
Siskind, Mariano
Altshuler, Bruce
Orchiston, Wayne
Mariner's Mirror
Archives of Natural History
Endeavour: Review of the Progress of Science
Journal for Maritime Research: Britian, the Sea and Global History
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Yale University Press
Cold Spring Press
University of British Columbia
Hambledon Continuum
Oxford University Press
Travel; exploration
Sea travel
Scientific expeditions
Science and literature
Cook, James
Banks, Joseph
Darwin, Charles Robert
Shaler, William
Swift, Jonathan
Dampier, William
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
Pacific Ocean
Polar regions
Great Britain. Royal Navy

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