Magnetic chart of the Atlantic, 1740s

Magnetic chart of the Atlantic, 1740s

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This image is part of the sequence science and technology: Atlantic magnetic charts

Credit: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building/The Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Magnetic chart of the Atlantic. Chart of the Atlantic Ocean showing variations in compass readings, originally published in 1700 (see E056/0100) by the English astronomer, meteorologist and physicist Edmond Halley (1656-1742) and here updated and reissued after 1744. In 1698 and 1699 Halley, most famous for his work on comets, was given command of a ship by King George III and told to record geographical variations in compass readings (the amount the horizontal alignment of the needle differs from geographical North) as a way for sailors to determine longitude. The lines, known as isogonic lines, show places where the magnetic variation is equal.

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