What Captain James Cook did not discover
What Captain James Cook did not discover
In the first half of the 18th century, theory was very fashionable, about the existence of a great land in the southern hemisphere, Terra Australis Incognita, which would counterbalance the great lands that exist in the northern hemisphere.
At that time, knowledge was lacking in one more, very important to the world, case. Well, in the eighteenth century, six planets were known. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered later. The proportions between the sizes of their orbits were also known. It was known, for example, that Jupiter is distant from the sun 5 times more than the Earth. But how far? How much was the distance measured in any units of measurement? Nobody knew that.
In years 60 In the 18th century, there was an opportunity to obtain data, to calculate the size, our solar system. A solar eclipse was approaching through the planet Venus. The entire astronomical and geographic world of science, he was getting ready to observe this astronomical phenomenon. An international team of researchers tried to make observations at 1761 year, but they were thwarted by the weather and other unfavorable factors. Another was to take place in 1769.
And that's the main reason the Royal Society organized it [Royal Academy of Sciences] wraz from the Royal Navy [Royal Navy] the first ever purely scientific expedition. Others, complementary first, task, there was a confirmation or a denial of the theory of the great southern land, from Latin called Terra Australis and from English simply, Australia.
The command of this expedition was entrusted to Captain James Cook, famous for its reliability in documenting its activities, deep knowledge of astronomy and geometry, which knowledge was necessary for navigation. W 1768 Captain James Cook on HMS Endeavor sets out for the southern seas. They were aboard HMS Endeavor 94 persons, including 55 people were counted by the crew, 14 officer cadre, it was a defense 12 marines, 1 astronomer and 9 "Gentlemen", which Cook had no influence on.
After circumnavigating Cape Horn, it headed west. In April 1769 arrived in Tahiti, where he built an astronomical observatory and prepared himself, with the team, for observing the eclipse.
The planet Venus is very small and does not cover the Sun like it does, for example the moon, causing complete darkness in certain places on the earth. The time it takes for the planet to pass through the solar disk is observed. That's in a nutshell. They observed this moment in the astronomical observatory in Tahiti, three, professional people, astronomer Charles Green, botanik Daniel Solander i Kapitan James Cook. Three people therefore, so that some mean could be drawn from their observations. However, comparing the results of the three observers yielded no results. The differences were huge. Why? No accurate timing. Accurate chronometer, or rather, its absence has already caused many errors in astronomical measurements and calculations, as well as maritime disasters.
Ten years earlier, the English carpenter and watchmaker John Harrison built such a chronometer. The first tests of suitability at sea passed in 1761 years aboard HMS Deptford, who sailed from Portsmuth, England to Port Royal, Jamaica. The device, however, was terribly expensive, I think the money was regretted. Captain James Cook's second expedition, however, was already equipped with such an accurate chronometer, which is essential for navigation, to establish longitude, the designated position. At that time, it was agreed very precisely, determine the latitude of the ship's position in the ocean, from astronomical observations, but the longitude could not be determined all the time. This was the cause, very many, maritime disasters.
Observations of the passage of the planet Venus through the solar disk, elsewhere on earth, gave exactly the same results as the observations in Tahiti. The opportunity to learn about the size of the solar system is gone, next in 120 years.
Captain James Cook proceeded to the second assignment. Finding or denying the existence of Terra Australis - Australia. From Thaiti the expedition turned, on discovered by the Dutchman Abel Tasman, New Zealand, on which you can replenish your supplies, needed to continue westward.
New Zealand turned out to be two New Zealand. Exposed vessel, which Abel Tasman missed, Captain James Cook gives his name, because it was his first geographical discovery and New Zealand, remained New Zealand.
From New Zealand, HMS Endeavor sailed in the footsteps of Abel Tasman towards Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania today. Cook knew , that south of Van Diemen's Land, there is nothing, because Abel Tasman will sail around it from the south and Magellan sailed even further south and also did not find any land. On Earth, van Diemen was planned to replenish, once again, inventory and decide on the further direction of the search.
Life knows different cases and for reasons unknown to us today, maybe the winds had pushed him down or some momentary sea current, or just a control error, or navigation, HMS Endeavor's first research vessel, strayed off course. Not much, about some 3 degrees north. As a result of deviation from the course, the expedition did not come to Earth by van Diemen, but a bit north. The place, reached by HMS Endeavor, was the southeast coast of present-day Australia, the cities present there are: Orbost and Mallacoota, Victoria. Captain Cook named this place Point Hicks. Experienced Captain Cook knew, that in such a situation, heading south makes no sense. He turned the ship north, all the time charting the coast of the new land. The expedition discovered the bay, in which she stayed for longer. The coastal penetration did not bring much new, apart from the sighting of a very interesting furry, who did not walk, but he jumped and many other so far unknown specimens of flora and fauna. Zatoka was named "Botanical", today's South Sydney. Here, Cook made a note, that this site is ideal for the landing of the first future settlers.