‘Exploration and the Enlightenment ’ considers a “Second Great Age of Discovery” that came about during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. It began with the 1735 Geodesic Mission to the Equator, designed to ascertain the true figure of the Earth. Never before had so large and learned a group of Europeans headed into the remote interior of the New World for an expressly scientific purpose or the results of an expedition been so elaborately publicized in maps, journals, and official reports back home. This trip is seen as the prototype of the modern exploring expedition. The voyages of Captain James Cook in the Pacific Ocean and Alexander von Humboldt's trip to South America provide further examples of Enlightenment exploration.