Quest for longitude
Latitude is measured by your position north or south of the equator but what about longitude? How is your east or west position defined? Discover all about the quest to establish longitude and why it was important, the men behind its discovery, and the establishment of the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.
Polite society was thrilling to the idea of an undiscovered continent in the south. Was it even there and what would count as proof if it didn’t exist?
Despite trailblazers like Captain Cook, the new techniques for navigation were slow to catch on.
From the satirical to the serious, the quest for longitude provoked a wealth of responses, some more worthy of attention than others.
Who was John Harrison, and how did his inventions help to solve the problem of finding longitude at sea?
How astronomers including Nevil Maskelyne, fifth Astronomer Royal, helped solve the longitude problem.
How did ships know where they were before seamen could get an accurate reading of their east/west location?
Why did most of the great European powers offer huge rewards for a way to determine longitude at sea?
The Astronomer Royal is the best-known and most prestigious post in astronomy with illustrious forebears such as Flamsteed and Halley.