Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member tomtwogates
S 33° 58.010 E 018° 25.533
34H E 262132 N 6238534
Quick Description: Maclear's Beacon at the highest point of Table Mountain
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Date Posted: 4/12/2013 12:14:09 AM
Waymark Code: WMGVFZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member surreptitious007
Views: 26

Long Description:
The highest point on Table Mountain is marked by a large cairn, built by Sir Thomas Maclear in 1865. But the cairn was not built to mark the height of Table Mountain, it was to assist in measuring the curvature of the earth.

This important astronomical calculation was undertaken by the Irish-born Maclear, a medical doctor who was also a keen astronomer. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Astronomers and served as Her Majesty’s Astronomer and Director at the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope from 1833 to 1870.

One of Maclear’s most important tasks was to remeasure the Abbot Nicolas de Lacaille’s Cape Arc of Meridian. Due to the influence of the magnetic field of the mountains around the Cape on his instruments, Lacaille’s measurements in the mid-18th century had indicated that the Earth would be pear-shaped; the British Admiralty, however, wanted this enigma solved and Maclear set to work in the 1830s already.

The beacon was built on the highest point of Table Mountain, 1 086 metres above sea level, in 1865 as a triangulation station to assist in measuring the curvature of the Earth. The beacon is still used by cartographers.

Maclear was knighted in 1860 for his achievements in astronomy. He died in 1879 in Mowbray, Cape Town.
Altitude (m): 1087

Beacon Type: Peak

Beacon Construction: Standard beacon vanes on top of a rock pile.

Visit Instructions:
We don't require you to provide any specific proof of your visit, but we do request that you upload photos if possible, the more the merrier.

Ideally, you should try to take photos at the actual beacon location, but if that isn't possible (private property, terrain, etc), then photos taken from a distance are also welcome, especially if the beacon is visible in the photo.

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