Historic: Second Voyage of James Cook

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Historic: Second Voyage of James Cook Gender: N/A
born on 12 July 1772 at 06:00 (= 06:00 AM )
Place Plymouth, England, 50n23, 4w10
Timezone LMT m4w10 (is local mean time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 20°18' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 18°14 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 10°42'

Historic: Second Voyage of James Cook (Map of route in green)
photo: Jon Platek. Blank map by en:User:Reisio., license gfdl


British exploratory voyage commissioned by the British government with advice from the Royal Society, designed to circumnavigate the globe as far south as possible to finally determine whether there was any great southern landmass, or Terra Australis. On his first voyage, Cook had demonstrated by circumnavigating New Zealand that it was not attached to a larger landmass to the south, and he charted almost the entire eastern coastline of Australia, yet Terra Australis was believed to lie further south.

The ships Resolution and Adventure were fitted for the voyage and set sail for the Antarctic on 13 July 1772.

On 17 January 1773, Resolution was the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle which she crossed twice more on the voyage. The third crossing, on 3 February 1774, was to be the most southerly penetration, reaching latitude 71°10′ South at longitude 106°54′ West. Cook undertook a series of vast sweeps across the Pacific, finally proving there was no Terra Australis by sailing over most of its predicted locations.

In the course of the voyage he visited Easter Island, the Marquesas, Tahiti, the Society Islands, Niue, the Tonga Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Palmerston Island, South Sandwich Islands, and South Georgia, many of which he named in the process. Cook proved the Terra Australis Incognita to be a myth and predicted that an Antarctic land would be found beyond the ice barrier.

On this voyage the Larcum Kendall K1 chronometer was successfully employed by William Wales to calculate longitude. Wales compiled a log book of the voyage, recording locations and conditions, the use and testing of various instruments, as well as making many observations of the people and places encountered on the voyage.

Resolution arrived home at Spithead, Portsmouth on 30 July 1775.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from The Journals of Captain Cook (Penguin, 2003): "Every thing being at length compleated we on Monday the 13th [1772] at Six O'clock in the morning left Plymouth Sound..."

Cook's journal was recorded in 'ship time;' entries were made under the next day's date, therefore the actual date was 12 July.


  • Mundane : Misc. Mundane : Historic milestones (Start of epic voyage)