Telling the story of Antarctica through 100 objects – New Scientist


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The 250th anniversary of the first documented crossing of the Antarctic circle is being marked with a new book that traces the continent’s history via 100 artefacts from around the world
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Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images
THE first documented crossing of the Antarctic circle was made on 17 January 1773 by James Cook on the HMS Resolution. Now, 250 years later, Jean de Pomereu and Daniella McCahey are marking its anniversary in Antarctica: A history in 100 objects, a book that tells the story of the continent via 100 photos and artefacts from around the world.
The main image is an iconic photograph taken from a grotto in an iceberg in 1911 by Herbert Ponting (pictured below). Ponting was the first professional photographer to travel to Antarctica, after being invited by Robert Falcon Scott to join his ill-fated expedition. The ship is the Terra Nova and the men are geologist Thomas Griffith Taylor and meteorologist Charles Wright.

Herbert Ponting and telephoto apparatus, Antarctica, 1912. British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. (Photo by Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images)

Herbert Ponting in Antarctica in 1910

Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images

Herbert Ponting in Antarctica in 1910
Herbert Ponting/Royal Geographical Society via Getty Images

Shaun O’Boyle
Pictured above are the South Pole Telescope and BICEP (Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization) experiment at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The telescope helped to capture the first image of a supermassive black hole in 2019.
L: Vestfold Museums: R: United States Navy History and Heritage Command
Leather goggles to protect against snow blindness, made during Roald Amundsen’s 1910-1912 Antarctic expedition, are shown above left. Pictured to the right of them are mittens knitted by Edith “Jackie” Ronne during an expedition in 1946-48. Ronne was one of the first two women to winter in Antarctica as part of a geographical expedition.
G. H. Mumm & Cie
The  image above shows Ernest Gourdon and Paul Pléneau sharing a bottle of champagne in July 1904. This was intended to promote Mumm Cordon Rouge, since the Mumm family was a sponsor of the trip.
 

Pablo de León/University of North Dakota
A spacesuit tested in Antarctica in 2011 for possible use on Mars. (pictured above).
 
Sebastian Copeland
A humpback whale skeleton (pictured above) reconstructed by conservationist and film-maker Jacques Cousteau on King George Island in 1972-73, to raise awareness of whaling.
 

Frédéric Perin/Météo France
An anemometer from a 1908-10 expedition.

Pictured above is a New Zealand $5 note commemorating Edmund Hillary, whose team was the first to reach the South Pole using overland vehicles, in 1958.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
The 1602 Kunyu Wanguo Quantu map from China, (pictured above) featuring a vast “Terra Australis” with the inscription “Few have reached these southern regions. So the things are not explored yet”.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Coryphaenoides lecointei, a fish specimen collected in the Antarctic on 15 March 1899 (pictured above).
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Magazine issue 3419 , published 28 December 2022
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