Lost without Longitude


Thursday, May 14, 2015, 6:00pm


Pfizer Lecture Hall, Mallinckrodt Chemistry Lab, 12 Oxford Street

Alyssa Goodman, Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution

One of the most important scientific challenges in early eighteenth-century Europe was the search for a reliable way to determine longitude at sea. Using a free interactive program called “WorldWide Telescope,” Alyssa Goodman will demonstrate how various historic and modern systems for measuring longitude at sea work (or fail to work), highlighting key life-saving techniques to find one’s position using the motions of stars and moons, as well as magnetic anomalies. Go back in time and discover what it was like to find one’s way before the era of GPS devices and smartphones.

Free and open to the public.

Free event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Finding Our Way: An Exploration of Human Navigation, an exhibition at the
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, will be open following the lecture until 9:00 pm.

Presented in collaboration with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study