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 The Challenger Expedition

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: The Challenger Expedition   Fri 30 Jan 2015, 14:58

Barely 150 years ago only the top few fathoms of the world's oceans were known about. Scientists and naturalists had concluded that due the great pressure, lack of light and extreme cold that the deep waters of the Earth were lifeless, Azoic.

One man who disagreed, was Professor Charles Wyville Thomson, and in the 1860s he persuaded the British Government to lend two Royal Navy ships, HMS Lightning and HMS Porcupine to conduct deep ocean surveys of the waters between the Faroe Islands and the Hebrides.

The results were so successful, that a major round the world oceanographic survey, using the converted frigate HMS Challenger, was now put into practice and Challenger departed Portsmouth in December 1872 on a voyage that would last three and a half years.




http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/science-of-natural-history/expeditions-collecting/hms-challenger-expedition/index.html


Last edited by Triceratops on Fri 30 Jan 2015, 15:06; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Challenger Expedition   Fri 30 Jan 2015, 15:00

Challenger's route:




The Royal Society stated the voyage’s scientific goals as:
To investigate the physical conditions of the deep sea in the great ocean basins (as far as the neighbourhood of the Great Southern Ice Barrier) in regard to depth, temperature, circulation, specific :gravity and penetration of light.
To determine the chemical composition of seawater at various depths from the surface to the bottom, the organic matter in solution and the particles in suspension.
To ascertain the physical and chemical character of deep-sea deposits and the sources of these deposits.
To investigate the distribution of organic life at different depths and on the deep seafloor.
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PostSubject: Re: The Challenger Expedition   Fri 30 Jan 2015, 15:14

Soundings taken on the 23rd March 1875, reached a depth of 4475 fathoms, (8184 metres). Modern sonic soundings have confirmed a depth of 10994 metres a short distance from Challenger's original position. The site is known as Challenger Deep:

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PostSubject: Re: The Challenger Expedition   Fri 30 Jan 2015, 15:46

Bathysaurus ferox one of the more than 4000 new species found during the Expedition:


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PostSubject: Re: The Challenger Expedition   Fri 30 Jan 2015, 18:14

Challenger was so important to oceanographic research that the first space shuttle was named after her.
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The Challenger Expedition

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