Story: Antarctica and New Zealand

Searching for the magnetic pole

Searching for the magnetic pole

Alistair Mackay, Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson discovered what they believed was the South Magnetic Pole on 16 January 1909. (The magnetic poles are points close to the geographic south and north poles, where the earth's magnetic field is most intense and towards which the needle of a compass will point.) Later calculations found that the point reached by Mackay, David and Mawson was not the magnetic pole (which was probably at 71° 36'), but that they were in its vicinity. To get there they had manhauled their sledges more than 2,000 kilometres.

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Alexander Turnbull Library, Joseph James Kinsey Collection (PAColl-5011)
Reference: PA1-q-217-240

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nigel Roberts, 'Antarctica and New Zealand - The heroic age of Antarctic exploration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 April 2024)

Story by Nigel Roberts, published 20 Jun 2012