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October 2015 MAINE COASTAL NEWS Page 9. Waterfront News Mystic Seaport - New Exhibit: Ships, Clocks & Stars The Quest for Longitude”

T e Solution to One of History’s Greatest Technical Challenges

Produced by the National Maritime Muse- um, London

Proudly sponsored by United Technologies Corporation

September 19, 2015 – March 28, 2016

MYSTIC, CT—Mystic Seaport proudly presents “Ships, Clocks & Stars: T e Quest for Longitude”, on tour from England for a limited time only. T e award-winning exhibition, produced by the National Mari- time Museum in London and sponsored by United Technologies Corp., reveals the race to determine longitude at sea. Spurred on by the promise of rich rewards, astronomers, philosophers, and artisans—including John Harrison and his innovative timekeepers— fi nally solved one of the greatest technical challenges of the 18th century. For centuries, longitude (east-west po-

sition) was a matter of life and death at sea. Ships that went off course had no way to rediscover their longitude. With no known location, they might smash into underwa- ter obstacles or be forever lost at sea. For a maritime nation such as Britain, growing investment in long distance trade, outposts and settlements overseas made the ability to accurately determine a ship’s longitude increasingly important. “Ships, Clocks & Stars” celebrates the

300th anniversary of the British Longitude Act of 1714, which off ered a huge prize for any practical way to determine longitude at sea. T e longitude problem was so diffi cult that—despite that incentive—it took fi ve de- cades to solve it. T rough the latest research and extraordinary, historic artifacts—many from the collection of the National Maritime Museum and never before displayed outside the UK—the exhibition tells the story of the clockmakers, astronomers, naval offi cers, and others who pursued the long “quest for longitude” to ultimate success. In recent years, John Harrison has

been cast as the hero of the story, not least in Dava Sobel’s bestselling book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientifi c Problem of His Time. “Ships, Clocks & Stars” provides a new perspective on this famous tale. While

John Harrison makes a good story and his marine sea-watch was vital to fi nally solving the problem of longitude, this was against a backdrop of almost unprecedented collabo- ration and investment. Famous names such as Galileo, Isaac Newton, James Cook, and William Bligh all feature in this fascinating and complex history. Crucially, it was As- tronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne’s obser- vations and work on the Nautical Almanac at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich that demonstrated the complementary nature of astronomical and timekeeper methods. Combined, the two methods lead to the suc- cessful determination of longitude at sea and changed our understanding of the world. “Mystic Seaport is very proud to bring

‘Ships, Clocks & Stars’ to New England to tell this important story of scientifi c discovery, innovation, creativity, perseverance, and even adventure as diff erent parties raced to fi nd a solution,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “T is exhibit is more than the story of longitude: it is the story of human problem-solving, and it is as relevant today as it was in the eighteenth century.” Exhibition Highlights: Clockmaker

John Harrison’s H4 marine sea-watch, con- sidered his greatest masterpiece; Working replicas of Harrison’s magnifi cent earlier H1, H2, and H3 timekeepers; T e original 1714 Longitude Act; Astronomical tables developed by Nevil Maskelyne, the Astrono- mer Royal; Early sextants, octants, and other instruments; Paintings from Captain Cook’s Pacifi c voyages; Rare items from William Bligh’s journey aſt er he was put off the Boun- ty; Detailed models of Cook’s and Bligh’s ships; and Digital displays throughout the exhibition bring key longitude concepts and materials to light. “Ships Clocks & Stars” will be open in

the R.J. Schaefer Building from September 19 to March 28, 2016. Entry to the exhibit is included in the Museum’s general ad- mission. Mystic Seaport will return to a year-round operating schedule in 2016 and be open Thursday-Sunday during Janu- ary-March. T e National Maritime Museum holds

the world’s largest maritime collection, housed in historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. T e National Maritime Museum is part

U. S. NAVY NEWS Continued From Page 8.

the surface it takes your breath away. You feel the ice hit the hull of the boat and you hear thumping back and forth all around you; then it just stops. It was a memorable experience. We got out of the boat, and the best way to describe the North Pole is that it’s a cold, snowy desert.” T ese polar transits and the surfacing

of submarines demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s commitment to assure access to all interna- tional waters. USS Nautilus (SSN 571) was the fi rst submarine to complete a submerged polar transit. “We are very happy to be home to the

Pacifi c Northwest, and we are eager to spend time with our family and friends,” said Bier- ley.

Seawolf, commissioned July 19, 1997,

is the fi rst of the Navy’s three Seawolf-class submarines. T e Seawolf is signifi cantly qui- eter than any Los Angeles-class submarine. It is also faster, has more torpedoes tubes and can carry up to 50 torpedoes or missiles, or 100 mines. All of the Seawolf-class submarines

are homeported in the Pacifi c Northwest - USS Connecticut (SSN 22) and Seawolf at Bremerton, Washington, and USS Jimmy

Carter (SSN 23) at Naval Base Kitsap-Ban- gor.

1-800-IMP-8865 NEW BEDFORD, MA 02740


of Royal Museums Greenwich which also incorporates the Royal Observatory Green- wich, the 17th-century Queen’s House, and the Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich works to illustrate for everyone the impor- tance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people. T is unique collection of attractions welcomes over 2 million British and international visitors a year and is also a major center of education and research. For more information visit A global leader in the aerospace and

commercial building industries, United Technologies provides products that set the standard for performance, reliability and en-

ergy effi ciency. Its aerospace businesses in- clude Pratt & Whitney aircraſt engines, UTC Aerospace Systems products and services, and Sikorsky helicopters. UTC is the world’s largest provider of building technologies. Its commercial businesses include Otis elevators and escalators; Carrier heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems; and fi re and security solutions from brands such as Kidde and Chubb. T e company also operates a central research organization that pursues technologies for improving the per- formance, energy effi ciency and cost of UTC products and processes. To learn more, visit

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