Something I’ve always wondered about…
When Robert Peary made it to the North Pole in 1909, how did he know when he got there?
I know you can tell your lattitude in the Northern Hemisphere by seeing how high in the sky the North Star is at night. At the North Pole it’s straight overhead while at the equator it is on the horizon. However, Peary couldn’t use the North Star for two reasons:
He went to the Pole in April, when the Pole is in sunlight 24 hours a day.
It’s hard to tell the difference between the North Star being 90 degrees overhead or 89 degrees and 30 minutes.
So, how did Peary (and Amundsen for the South Pole) know when they got there?