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James Clark Ross
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Explorer
    (April 15, 1800-April 3, 1862)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    British naval officer and explorer
    Took part in Arctic expeditions under Sir John Ross (1818,1829-33) and Sir William Parry (1819-1827)
    Commanded an expedition that charted much of the coast of Antarctica (1839-43)
    Discovered the Ross Sea, Ross Ice Shelf and Victoria Land
    Knighted (1844)
    Promoted to Rear Admiral (1856)
    His rise in the Navy was assured by the influence of his uncle, Admiral Sir John Ross.
    While returning from the Antarctic to Cape Horn, his two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, ran into each other while trying to avoid an iceberg (March 12, 1842).
    When he married (1843), he pledged to end his polar voyages.
    He broke the pledge to head an expedition to search for lost Arctic explorer John Franklin (1848), whom he was unable to find.
    While wintering over in the Arctic, he led a land expedition that reached the Magnetic North Pole (June 1, 1831).
    During his expeditions, he collected birds, mammals, marine life, and plants; recorded temperatures and ice thicknesses; and made magnetic and lunar observations. He was honored for these scientific endeavors by being elected to the Royal Society (1848).
    Despite his ships' collision, his expedition lost only one man, a boatswain who fell overboard during the trip to Tasmania before the actual exploration of Antarctica had begun.
    He set records for both the farthest point north reached (82 degrees, 45 minutes with the Parry expedition of 1827) and the farthest point south (78 degrees 10 minutes in 1842).

Credit: C. Fishel


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