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BOOK
Author Ferreiro, Larrie D.
Title Measure of the Earth : the enlightenment expedition that reshaped our world / Larrie D. Ferreiro.
Imprint New York : Basic Books, [2011]
©2011

LOCATION CALL # STATUS MESSAGE
 OTTERBEIN MAIN COLLECTION  QB296.E9 F47 2011    AVAILABLE  
LOCATION CALL # STATUS MESSAGE
 OTTERBEIN MAIN COLLECTION  QB296.E9 F47 2011    AVAILABLE  
Author Ferreiro, Larrie D.
Subject Geodesy -- Europe -- History -- 18th century.
Scientific expeditions -- Europe -- History -- 18th century.
Description xix, 353 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Summary "In the early eighteenth century, at the peak of the Enlightenment, an unlikely team of European scientists and naval officers set out on the world's first international, cooperative scientific expedition. Intent on making precise astronomical measurements at the Equator, they were poised to resolve one of mankind's oldest mysteries: the true shape of the Earth. In Measure of the Earth, award-winning science writer Larrie D. Ferreiro tells the full story of the Geodesic Mission to the Equator for the very first time. It was an age when Europe was torn between two competing conceptions of the world: the followers of Rene Descartes argued that the Earth was elongated at the poles, even as Isaac Newton contended that it was flattened. A nation that could accurately determine the planet's shape could securely navigate its oceans, giving it great military and imperial advantages. Recognizing this, France and Spain organized a joint expedition to colonial Peru, Spain's wealthiest kingdom. Armed with the most advanced surveying and astronomical equipment, they would measure a degree of latitude at the Equator, which when compared with other measurements would reveal the shape of the world. But what seemed to be a straightforward scientific exercise was almost immediately marred by a series of unforeseen catastrophes, as the voyagers found their mission threatened by treacherous terrain, a deeply suspicious populace, and their own hubris. A thrilling tale of adventure, political history, and scientific discovery, Measure of the Earth recounts the greatest scientific expedition of the Enlightenment through the eyes of the men who completed it--pioneers who overcame tremendous adversity to traverse the towering Andes Mountains in order to discern the Earth's shape. In the process they also opened the eyes of Europe to the richness of South America and paved the way for scientific cooperation on a global scale"-- Provided by publisher
"This book tells the story of an international scientific expedition during the European Enlightenment to measure the length of a degree of latitude at the equator, and to thereby determine the exact shape of the earth. The leaderships in France and her ally Spain put together an expedition to travel to the equator and measure a degree of latitude there; compared with the degree already measured in Paris, this new measurement would yield the exact shape of the earth. The Geodesic Mission to the Equator departed for colonial Peru (modern-day Ecuador) in 1735, with a motley team that included three French scientists, two Spanish naval officers and their assistants. When the expedition finally returned almost ten years later--battered by even more unexpected hardships and self-inflicted tragedies--all of Europe was waiting with bated breath. Using their measurements, the scientists successfully revealed the true figure of the Earth: a slightly flattened sphere, a conclusion that vindicated Newton's followers"-- Provided by publisher
"In the early eighteenth century, at the peak of the Enlightenment, an unlikely team of European scientists and naval officers set out on the world's first international, cooperative scientific expedition. Intent on making precise astronomical measurements at the Equator, they were poised to resolve one of mankind's oldest mysteries: the true shape of the Earth. In Measure of the Earth, award-winning science writer Larrie D. Ferreiro tells the full story of the Geodesic Mission to the Equator for the very first time. It was an age when Europe was torn between two competing conceptions of the world: the followers of Rene Descartes argued that the Earth was elongated at the poles, even as Isaac Newton contended that it was flattened. A nation that could accurately determine the planet's shape could securely navigate its oceans, giving it great military and imperial advantages. Recognizing this, France and Spain organized a joint expedition to colonial Peru, Spain's wealthiest kingdom. Armed with the most advanced surveying and astronomical equipment, they would measure a degree of latitude at the Equator, which when compared with other measurements would reveal the shape of the world. But what seemed to be a straightforward scientific exercise was almost immediately marred by a series of unforeseen catastrophes, as the voyagers found their mission threatened by treacherous terrain, a deeply suspicious populace, and their own hubris. A thrilling tale of adventure, political history, and scientific discovery, Measure of the Earth recounts the greatest scientific expedition of the Enlightenment through the eyes of the men who completed it--pioneers who overcame tremendous adversity to traverse the towering Andes Mountains in order to discern the Earth's shape. In the process they also opened the eyes of Europe to the richness of South America and paved the way for scientific cooperation on a global scale"-- Provided by publisher.
"This book tells the story of an international scientific expedition during the European Enlightenment to measure the length of a degree of latitude at the equator, and to thereby determine the exact shape of the earth. The leaderships in France and her ally Spain put together an expedition to travel to the equator and measure a degree of latitude there; compared with the degree already measured in Paris, this new measurement would yield the exact shape of the earth. The Geodesic Mission to the Equator departed for colonial Peru (modern-day Ecuador) in 1735, with a motley team that included three French scientists, two Spanish naval officers and their assistants. When the expedition finally returned almost ten years later--battered by even more unexpected hardships and self-inflicted tragedies--all of Europe was waiting with bated breath. Using their measurements, the scientists successfully revealed the true figure of the Earth: a slightly flattened sphere, a conclusion that vindicated Newton's followers"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 299-337) and index.
Contents The baseline at Yaruquí -- The problem of the Earth's shape -- Preparations for the mission -- Finding Quito -- Degree of difficulty -- City of Kings -- The triangles of Peru -- Death and the surgeon -- The War of Jenkins's Ear -- The dance of the stars -- The impossible return -- A world revealed -- The children of the equator.
ISBN 9780465017232
0465017231
9780465023455 (e-book)
0465023452 (e-book)
ISBN/ISSN 40019477510
OCLC # 657595545
Table of Contents
 Principal Charactersix
 Introduction: The Baseline at Yaruquixiii
I.The Problem of the Earth's Shape1
II.Preparations for the Mission31
III.Finding Quito61
IV.Degree of Difficulty91
V.City of Kings117
VI.The Triangles of Peru129
VII.Death and the Surgeon163
VIII.The War of Jenkins's Ear179
IX.The Dance of the Stars197
X.The Impossible Return223
XI.A World Revealed247
 Epilogue: The Children of the Equator273
 Afterword289
 A Note On Language293
 Units Of Measure And Currency295
 Acknowledgments297
 Notes299
 Index339


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