Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude Exhibition @ Australia National Maritime Museum

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude
Australia National Maritime Museum, Sydney
5 May–30 October 2016

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Discover the extraordinary nautical instruments that led to maritime history’s greatest scientific breakthrough.

For hundreds of years, European merchants staked their fortunes on long-distance voyages. Travel at sea was dangerous and safe passage relied on fair weather and effective navigation. Unlike on land, the sea has no fixed points to help seamen determine their position. This could lead to unnecessarily long voyages or the loss of ships, cargo and life.

Travelling from the National Maritime Museum, London, this award-winning exhibition tells the story of the search for better ways of navigating by finding longitude – distance east and west. It was a problem that had frustrated the greatest minds since the late 1400s. Three hundred years ago the first Longitude Act offered life-changing rewards for workable solutions. Eventually two emerged – using clocks and stars – which cracked the longitude problem and helped re-shape our understanding of the world.