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James Clark Ross and the Discovery of the Magnetic North Pole: An entry from Gale's Science and Its Times [HTML] [Digital]

Randolph W. Fillmore

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

James Clark Ross (1800-1862), commander in the British Navy and England's most experienced and successful Arctic explorer, discovered the Magnetic North Pole in June 1831. During the eighteenth century, explorers wanted to find a Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was one of the most important exploration goals of the time. While Ross did not discover the Northwest Passage, his discovery was judged a significant achievement both in science and in Arctic exploration. Finding the Magnetic North Pole advanced knowledge of the Earth's magnetic field....

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