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Antarctic exploration

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-22, 10:37 authored by Alfred Mault
Antarctic exploration is no new subject for discussion at the meetings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Our founder was the hero of Arctic research, and our records contain papers by another of our distinguished Fellows—the facile princeps of Antarctic explorers, Sir James Ross—of whose expeditions Hobart was the base of operations. In later times one of the best records of Antarctic exploration up to date is contained in the paper read before us in 1886 by the late Deputy Surveyor-General, Charles Sprent. That paper is so complete a history of what had been done that I should not have again called your attention to the subject but for the additional information that has lately been obtained in connection with voyaging among ice under conditions totally different to those under which Ross achieved so much. The information is derivable from papers that have been recently read, and discussions that have taken place upon them at the meetings of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. I need hardly say that the new conditions under which voyaging among ice floes and bergs is being done are those connected with the use of steam.
Up to the present time no properly equipped and constructed steam vessel has crossed the Antarctic circle.
The Challenger is the only steam vessel that has crossed the circle ; and, as she was not intended for service in high latitudes, she was wholly unprotected for ice work. But the experience gained by the Dundee and Norwegian steam whalers during the 1892-93 season in the neighbourhood of Graham's Land and the South Shetlands, just north of the Antarctic circle, show very clearly under how much more favourable conditions Antarctic research can now be undertaken than when Cook and Weddell and Ross penetrated beyond the 70th parallel of south latitude.

History

Publication title

Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania

Pagination

42-50

Rights statement

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania..

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