A SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION
During the 7 years of the Maud Expedition, the polar ship was to be a floating research station and laboratory, thanks to one man who later became one of the leading oceanographers of the 20th century. His name was Harald Ulrik Sverdrup.
When sailing from Vollen, Norway early in the morning at mid summer 1918, the Maud Expedition was in the public eye considered to be a brave attempt, set into reality by Roald Amundsen, to aim for the North pole, by letting themselves be deliberately frozen into the arctic ice cap and hopefully drift across the North pole over a period of 3 to 4 years.
For Harald Ulrik Sverdrup this was a perfect opportunity to perform groundbreaking research in nature science, collecting scientific data of all possible kind in the high polar region, to an extend that never had been performed before.
Sverdrup and the whole crew on board Maud took on this challenge with great entusiasm and executed an endless amount of data collection on an every day basis from morning to evening, during the whole 7 years of the Maud Expedition.
The Maud crew performed measurements on Terrestrial Magnetism, atmospheric electricity, weather conditions of all kind, including the use of ballons and kites, to measure temperatures and wind speed and direction high up from the ground. A weather ballon could be spotted even at a hight of 20km in the polar night with the help of a little burning candle in a box hanging under the ballon.
Studies of the Northern Lights was also included in their resarch program.
A BREIF VISIT TO WASHINGTON AND CARNEGIE INSTITUTE During my last visit to Canada and the US I took the opportunity to visit the Carnegie Institute, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.
Harald Sverdrup was closely connected to Carnegie both before and after the Maud Expedition and a great part of the research material and results was coordinated through them.
The material and its incredible volume and level of thoroughness and professionalism in every detail of execution makes a great impact.
THE BEAUTY OF CURIOUSITY I get so intrigued by the energy, will power, dicipline and to the finger tip detailed perfection in the execution and performance of their work and unbelievable power of will to perform their duties with inspiration and excellence. I am humble in admiration. Its a joy to see and experience. It will be our challenge to bring all this more available to the public than it has been over the last nearly 100years. It is not only an important part of our cultural history but more than anything just facinating to dig into.
The Maud Expedition was not a failure – it was a success. A praise to nature and all her hidden wonders.
There is no doubt that our (Maud Returns Home) focus on the scientific side of the Maud Expedition will get more attention as the MRH project will evolve.
It is not only an old polar ship that is returning home. There is a whole story within it.
A story of tribute to nature and a story of a few mens love and curiousity to nature. An endless will to explore and seek to understand her hidden secrets and the mystery and beauty of it all.
Magnetic field – feeling both grounded and extraterrestrial
Carnegie Institution of Washington:
The boxes with the Maud files are hidden treasures, most of it yet to be reveiled.
Letters from Maud travelling across the world from Amundsen and Sverdrup to the director of the Carnegie Institute, updating on the progress on collecting scientific data on magnetism, northern lights and more.
Great thanks to librarian Shaun Hardy at Carnegie Institution for being supportive and extremely helpful.
Sverdrups hand for numbers – and the beauty of details.
A wonderful illustration made by genious Odd Dahl showing in one view all the scientific data being collected from the Maud Expedition.