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Flat Earth Debate / Re: How Amunsden knew he was on the south pole?
« on: July 27, 2016, 03:06:11 PM »
Amundsen reached the South pole on December 14, 1911.  His expedition used typical marine sextants and mercury artificial horizons (on land we use a dish of water or levelled "first surface" mirrors.  Observations of the Sun began on the 15th 1911 and were taken every hour- which could be done since at that latitude (being about a week or so before summer) the sun never set.

To avoid the doubt about reaching the geographic South Pole that troubled Peary (first to the North Pole), Amundsen's group "boxed in" the pole by traversing about 10 miles on either side of the estimated pole and taking observations (of the sun) from those points.  Their reasoning was this- a sextant, at best, can only get you within 1 nm (1 nautical mile which equals 1 minute of arc) of your actual position so if they walked over the snow and ice in 3 points 90 apart from the route they followed to the pole then one the men would certainly have walked over the geographic South Pole.

You can read the evaluation of Amundsen's sun observations here;

https://thenauticalalmanac.com/1911%20Nautical%20Almanac.pdf

Look at page 4 of the 1911 Nautical Almanac




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