James Cook was sent to the Pacific to observe the transit of Venus from Tahiti. (The passage of Venus across the face of the sun could be used to calculate distances between the sun, Venus and the earth.) It was only after Cook had made these observations, from tents like this one, that he sailed south and west to New Zealand.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.