ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
French survey expedition book. Title page of the 1751 book Mesure des Trois Premiers Degrees du Meridien dans l'Hemisphere Austral (Measurement of the First Three Degrees of the Meridian in the Southern Hemisphere) by the French mathematician, explorer and geographer Charles Marie de La Condamine (1701-1774). The aim of this expedition (1735-1740), organised by the French Royal Academy of Sciences, was to reveal the shape and size of the Earth by measuring an arc of the meridian near the equator, and comparing it to one measured in the Arctic. A Latin quote from the Roman poet Virgil is above the globe (on its side) that shows the area in South America surveyed by the expedition.
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