Friday, July 24, 2015

Meridian Monument

In an attempt to measure how flattened the earth is at its poles, Struve (a Russian astronomer and geodesist( reportedly took measurements for 39 years in 10 different countries, measuring latitude at 13 stations spread along what is known as The Struve Geodetic Arc. (Reportedly, much of the actual field work was done by two military officers, Klouman and Lundh.) One of those 13 stations was in Hammerfest Norway, where stands the Meridian Monument to Struve’s work. The IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics), fully active to this day under the general umbrella of the United Stations, is said to have emerged from Struve’s original work. The bottom line? The radius of curvature at the equator is shorter than at the poles. According to The Struve Geodetic Arc, one degree of latitude is 359 meters shorter on the Black Sea than on the coast of the Norwegian Sea. The Struve Geodetic Arc (or Meridian Monument) was the first technical and scientific object to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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