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Polynesia. The Hidden Paradise

Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Tahiti, Beaches

James Cook. 1769


I was the captain of a ship

embarked on a scientific voyage in the Pacific Ocean.
The purpose of my voyage was to observe and record the transit of Venus in front of the Sun, which would help in determining the distance between the Earth and the Sun. I studied astronomy and previously worked in Newfoundland, Canada, where I used to conduct scientific eclipse observations.
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By obtaining a precise estimate of the time between the beginning and end of the eclipse, and comparing these results with the time at a known location in England, it was possible to calculate the longitude of the observation site in Newfoundland. So there I was, in the middle of the Pacific, looking for land,

when I saw it in the distance. I arrived in Tahiti, the largest of the eastern islands of the French Polynesian archipelago, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A true paradise; the island had been formed by the activity of a volcano and this could be seen from the colour of its high mountains.

The transparent blue water made it possible for us to distinguish the coral reef that surrounded us. As soon as we touched land, I started to plan for the eclipse observation. The eclipse was of rare beauty and being able to see it from this wonderful corner of our planet made it all the more impressive.
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Sezione 3

Go back to this place


Tahiti, Beaches

James Cook. 1769

Go on to the next place


Tobias Furneaux. 1773

New Zealand, Queen Charlotte Sound

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