The South Pole known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of Earth and lies on the opposite side of Earth from the North Pole. Situated on the continent of Antarctica, it is the site of the United States Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, established in 1956 and has been permanently staffed since that year; the Geographic South Pole is distinct from the South Magnetic Pole, the position of, defined based on Earth's magnetic field. The South Pole is at the center of the Southern Hemisphere. For most purposes, the Geographic South Pole is defined as the southern point of the two points where Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. However, Earth's axis of rotation is subject to small "wobbles", so this definition is not adequate for precise work; the geographic coordinates of the South Pole are given as 90°S, since its longitude is geometrically undefined and irrelevant.
When a longitude is desired, it may be given as 0°. At the South Pole, all directions face north. For this reason, directions at the Pole are given relative to "grid north", which points northwards along the prime meridian. Along tight latitude circles, clockwise is east, counterclockwise is west, opposite to the North Pole; the Geographic South Pole is located on the continent of Antarctica. It sits atop a featureless, barren and icy plateau at an altitude of 2,835 metres above sea level, is located about 1,300 km from the nearest open sea at Bay of Whales; the ice is estimated to be about 2,700 metres thick at the Pole, so the land surface under the ice sheet is near sea level. The polar ice sheet is moving at a rate of 10 metres per year in a direction between 37° and 40° west of grid north, down towards the Weddell Sea. Therefore, the position of the station and other artificial features relative to the geographic pole shift over time; the Geographic South Pole is marked by a stake in the ice alongside a small sign.
The sign records the respective dates that Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott reached the Pole, followed by a short quotation from each man, gives the elevation as "9,301 FT.". A new marker stake is fabricated each year by staff at the site; the Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at the South Pole Station. It is located some meters from the Geographic South Pole, consists of a metallic sphere on a short bamboo pole, surrounded by the flags of the original Antarctic Treaty signatory states. Amundsen's Tent: The tent was erected by the Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen on its arrival on 14 December 1911, it is buried beneath the snow and ice in the vicinity of the Pole. It has been designated a Historic Site or Monument, following a proposal by Norway to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting; the precise location of the tent is unknown, but based on calculations of the rate of movement of the ice and the accumulation of snow, it is believed, as of 2010, to lie between 1.8 and 2.5 km from the Pole at a depth of 17 m below the present surface.
Argentine Flagpole: A flagpole erected at the South Geographical Pole in December 1965 by the First Argentine Overland Polar Expedition has been designated a Historic Site or Monument following a proposal by Argentina to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. In 1820, several expeditions claimed to have been the first to have sighted Antarctica, with the first being the Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev; the first landing was just over a year when American Captain John Davis, a sealer, set foot on the ice. The basic geography of the Antarctic coastline was not understood until the mid-to-late 19th century. American naval officer Charles Wilkes claimed that Antarctica was a new continent, basing the claim on his exploration in 1839–40, while James Clark Ross, in his expedition of 1839–43, hoped that he might be able to sail all the way to the South Pole. British explorer Robert Falcon Scott on the Discovery Expedition of 1901–04 was the first to attempt to find a route from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole.
Scott, accompanied by Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson, set out with the aim of travelling as far south as possible, on 31 December 1902, reached 82°16′ S. Shackleton returned to Antarctica as leader of the British Antarctic Expedition in a bid to reach the Pole. On 9 January 1909, with three companions, he reached 88°23' S – 112 miles from the Pole – before being forced to turn back; the first men to reach the Geographic South Pole were the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party on December 14, 1911. Amundsen named his camp Polheim and the entire plateau surrounding the Pole King Haakon VII Vidde in honour of King Haakon VII of Norway. Robert Falcon Scott returned to Antarctica with his second expedition, the Terra Nova Expedition unaware of Amundsen's secretive expedition. Scott and four other men reached the South Pole on January 17, 1912, thirty-four days after Amundsen. On the return trip and his four companions all died of starvation and extreme cold. In 1914 Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition set out with the goal of crossing Antarctica via the South Pole, but his ship, the Endurance, was frozen in pack ice and sank 1
Rutford Ice Stream
Rutford Ice Stream is a major Antarctic ice stream, about 290 kilometres long and over 24 kilometres wide, which drains southeastward between the Sentinel Range, Ellsworth Mountains and Fletcher Ice Rise into the southwest part of Ronne Ice Shelf. Named by US-ACAN for geologist Robert Hoxie Rutford, a member of several USARP expeditions to Antarctica. Rutford served as Director of the Division of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 1975-1977; the ice stream is situated in a deep trough, a tectonic feature between the Ellsworth Mountains and the Fletcher Promontory. Because of this the ice stream position may have been stable for millions of years; the bed of the ice stream reaches 2,000 metres below sea level. Therefore, between the bed of the ice stream and the height of the Ellsworth Mountains there is a vertical relief of 7 kilometres over a distance of only 40 kilometres. At the upper end of the ice stream the ice thickness reaches 3,100 metres falling to around 2,300 metres in the trough.
Flow speed reaches a maximum of around 400 metres per year about 40 kilometres inland from where the ice stream meets the Ronne Ice Shelf and starts to float on the sea. The speed of the Rutford ice stream varies by as much as 20% every two weeks, in response to variations in the tides. Yamen Glacier Vicha Glacier Newcomer Glacier Vit Ice Piedmont Embree Glacier Young Glacier Ranuli Ice Piedmont Ellen Glacier Lardeya Ice Piedmont Guerrero Glacier Hough Glacier Remington Glacier Thomas Glacier Razboyna Glacier Drama Glacier Gabare Glacier Divdyadovo Glacier Minnesota Glacier Union Glacier List of glaciers in the Antarctic List of Antarctic ice streams This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Rutford Ice Stream"
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Climbing to the summit of all of them is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first achieved on 30 April 1985 by Richard Bass; the Seven Summits achievement has become noted as an mountaineering accomplishment. The Seven Summits are composed of each of the highest mountain peaks of each of the seven continents. Different lists include slight variations, but the same core is maintained; the seven summits depend on the definition used for a continent—in particular the location of the border of that continent. This results in two points of variation: the first is Mont Blanc versus Mount Elbrus for the continent of Europe; this gives rise to another list called "Eight Summits" including both Puncak Jaya and Mount Kosciuszko and the rest of the six summits in the other continents. This creates several possible versions of the seven summits: Everest, Denali, Vinson, Puncak Jaya Everest, Denali, Vinson, Kosciuszko Everest, Denali, Vinson, Mont Blanc, Kosciuszko Everest, Denali, Vinson, Mont Blanc, Puncak Jaya Everest, Denali, Vinson, Mont Blanc, Mount Wilhelm The concept Bass and his climbing partner Frank Wells were pursuing was to be the first to stand atop the highest mountain on each continent.
They pursued this goal as they defined it, climbing Aconcagua for South America, McKinley for North America, Kilimanjaro for Africa, Elbrus for Europe, Vinson for Antarctica, Kosciuszko for Australia, Everest for Asia. Using the largest tectonic plates and Asia could be grouped as Eurasia, the large Pacific plate would have Mauna Kea as its highest mountain. Puncak Jaya is on the Maoke Plate, grouped with the larger Australian plate. If not Mount Kosciuszko would revert to being the highest of that plate. African Plate – Kilimanjaro Antarctic Plate – Vinson Australian Plate – Puncak Jaya / Kosciuszko Eurasian Plate – Mount Everest North American Plate – Denali Pacific Plate – Mauna Kea South American Plate – Aconcagua The highest mountain on the Australian mainland is Mount Kosciuszko, 2,228 metres above sea level. However, the highest mountain in the Australian continent which includes Australia and New Guinea is Puncak Jaya, 4,884 m above sea level, in the Indonesian province of Papua on the island of New Guinea, which lies on the Australian continental shelf.
Mount Kosciuszko is easy to climb, being a four hour, grade 3 return walk from the nearest car park, while Puncak Jaya is difficult. Some sources claim Mount Wilhelm in Papua New Guinea's Bismarck Range as the highest mountain in Australia, on account of Indonesia being part of Asia. However, such a definition is political, not geophysical, would mean that Papua changed continents in 1969. For a list of elevation extremes based on national political boundaries see List of elevation extremes by country. In terms of Australia as a country, Mawson Peak is higher than Kosciuszko. If excluding the island of New Guinea Mount Cook in the South Island of New Zealand is the highest mountain in Australasia at 3,724 m. Sources that list Mount Wilhelm as the Oceania high point or show boundaries putting Puncak Jaya in Asia include: The United Nations, National Geographic, 7 Continent Summits, World Atlas, The CIA World Factbook, Canada Atlas, Papua New Guinea PNG Trekking; the accepted highest summit in Europe is Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus, appearing on both the Bass and Messner lists.
However, because the location of the boundary between Asia and Europe is not universally agreed upon, its inclusion in Europe is disputed: if the Kuma–Manych Depression is used as the geological border between Asia and Europe, the Caucasus and Elbrus lie wholly in Asia. If the Greater Caucasus watershed is used instead, Elbrus' peaks are wholly in Europe, albeit close to the border with Asia. Mont Blanc, lying on the border between France and Italy in the Graian Alps, is seen by some to be the highest mountain in Europe. North and South America have Aconcagua, respectively. Looking again at plate tectonics, there is the possibility of summiting the high points on the smaller plates. North America – Denali South America – Aconcagua Panama Plate – Cerro Chirripó Caribbean Plate – Acatenango Volcano North Andes Plate – Chimborazo Altiplano Plate – Nevado Sajama The first Seven Summits list as postulated by Bass chose the highest mountain of mainland Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, to represent the Australian continent's highest summit.
Reinhold Messner postulated another list, replacing Mount Kosciuszko with Indonesia's Puncak Jaya, or Carstensz Pyramid. Neither the Bass nor the Messner list includes Mont Blanc. From a mountaineering point of view, the Messner list is the more challenging one. Climbing Carstensz Pyramid has the character o
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; the temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter is −63 °C. Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, fungi, plants and certain animals, such as mites, penguins and tardigrades.
Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf; the continent, remained neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of accessible resources, isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, thirty-eight have signed it since then; the treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations; the name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική, feminine of ἀνταρκτικός, meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".
Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC Marinus of Tyre used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus, from which derived the Old French pole antartike attested in 1270, from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer. Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique"; the first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. The long-imagined south polar continent was called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to'Australia' as seen in a woodcut illustration titled Sphere of the winds, contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545.
Although the longer Latin phrase was better known, the shortened name Australia was used in Europe's scholarly circles. In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent", they searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Antipodea. Antarctica was adopted in the 1890s. Antarctica has no indigenous population, there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, in February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:" believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it". However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe and North Africa—had prevailed since the times of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD.
In the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. Explorer Matthew Flinders, in particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia, he justified the titling of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis by writing in the introduction: There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will be found in a more southern latitude.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958; the new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles; the agency is responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System. From 1946, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics had been experimenting with rocket planes such as the supersonic Bell X-1.
In the early 1950s, there was challenge to launch an artificial satellite for the International Geophysical Year. An effort for this was the American Project Vanguard. After the Soviet launch of the world's first artificial satellite on October 4, 1957, the attention of the United States turned toward its own fledgling space efforts; the US Congress, alarmed by the perceived threat to national security and technological leadership, urged immediate and swift action. On January 12, 1958, NACA organized a "Special Committee on Space Technology", headed by Guyford Stever. On January 14, 1958, NACA Director Hugh Dryden published "A National Research Program for Space Technology" stating: It is of great urgency and importance to our country both from consideration of our prestige as a nation as well as military necessity that this challenge be met by an energetic program of research and development for the conquest of space... It is accordingly proposed that the scientific research be the responsibility of a national civilian agency...
NACA is capable, by rapid extension and expansion of its effort, of providing leadership in space technology. While this new federal agency would conduct all non-military space activity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency was created in February 1958 to develop space technology for military application. On July 29, 1958, Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, establishing NASA; when it began operations on October 1, 1958, NASA absorbed the 43-year-old NACA intact. A NASA seal was approved by President Eisenhower in 1959. Elements of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency and the United States Naval Research Laboratory were incorporated into NASA. A significant contributor to NASA's entry into the Space Race with the Soviet Union was the technology from the German rocket program led by Wernher von Braun, now working for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, which in turn incorporated the technology of American scientist Robert Goddard's earlier works. Earlier research efforts within the US Air Force and many of ARPA's early space programs were transferred to NASA.
In December 1958, NASA gained control of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a contractor facility operated by the California Institute of Technology. The agency's leader, NASA's administrator, is nominated by the President of the United States subject to approval of the US Senate, reports to him or her and serves as senior space science advisor. Though space exploration is ostensibly non-partisan, the appointee is associated with the President's political party, a new administrator is chosen when the Presidency changes parties; the only exceptions to this have been: Democrat Thomas O. Paine, acting administrator under Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, stayed on while Republican Richard Nixon tried but failed to get one of his own choices to accept the job. Paine was confirmed by the Senate in March 1969 and served through September 1970. Republican James C. Fletcher, appointed by Nixon and confirmed in April 1971, stayed through May 1977 into the term of Democrat Jimmy Carter. Daniel Goldin was appointed by Republican George H. W. Bush and stayed through the entire administration of Democrat Bill Clinton.
Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. associate administrator under Democrat Barack Obama, was kept on as acting administrator by Republican Donald Trump until Trump's own choice Jim Bridenstine, was confirmed in April 2018. Though the agency is independent, the survival or discontinuation of projects can depend directly on the will of the President; the first administrator was Dr. T. Keith Glennan appointed by Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his term he brought together the disparate projects in American space development research; the second administrator, James E. Webb, appointed by President John F. Kennedy, was a Democrat who first publicly served under President Harry S. Truman. In order to implement the Apollo program to achieve Kennedy's Moon la
Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf
The Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf known as Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf, is an Antarctic ice shelf bordering the Weddell Sea. The seaward side of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf is divided into Eastern 79°00′S 40°00′W and the larger Western 78°30′S 61°00′W sections by Berkner Island; the whole ice shelf covers some 430,000 km², making it the second largest ice shelf in Antarctica, after the Ross Ice Shelf. It grows perpetually due to a flow of inland ice sheets. From time to time, when the shearing stresses exceed the strength of the ice, cracks form and large parts of the ice sheet separate from the ice shelf and continue as icebergs; this is known as calving. The Ronne ice shelf is the western part of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, it is bounded on the west by the base of the Antarctic Ellsworth Land. Commander Finn Ronne, USNR, leader of the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition in 1947-48, discovered and photographed a strip along the entire northern portion of this ice shelf in two aircraft flights in November and December 1947.
He named it the "Lassiter Shelf Ice" and gave the name "Edith Ronne Land" to the land presumed to lie south of it. In 1957-58, the US-IGY party at Ellsworth Station, under now Captain Ronne, determined that the ice shelf was larger than charted, that it extends southward to preempt most of "Edith Ronne Land". Inasmuch as Capt. James Lassiter's name has been assigned to a coast of Palmer Land, the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names approved the name Ronne Ice Shelf for this large ice shelf, on the basis of first sighting and exploration of the ice shelf by Ronne and parties under his leadership; the shelf is therefore named for the wife of Finn Ronne and RARE Expedition member. The Filchner ice shelf is the eastern part of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, it is bounded on the west on the east by Coats Land. The east part of this shelf was discovered in January–February 1912 by the German Antarctic Expedition under Wilhelm Filchner. Filchner named the feature for Kaiser Wilhelm, but the Emperor requested it be named for its discoverer.
The shelf is nourished by the Slessor Glacier, the Recovery Glacier, the Support Force Glacier, all located east of Berkner Island. In October 1998, the iceberg A-38 broke off the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf, it had an extent of 150 by 50 km and was thus larger than Delaware, or about a quarter the size of Wales. It broke up again into three parts. A similar-sized calving in May 2000 created an iceberg 167 by 32 km in extent, dubbed A-43 - the disintegration of this is thought to have been responsible for the November 2006 sighting of several large icebergs from the coast of the South Island of New Zealand, the first time since 1931 that any icebergs had been observed from the New Zealand mainland. A large group of small icebergs, were seen off the south-east coast of the island, with one of them drifting close enough to shore to be visible from the hills above the city of Dunedin. If these were indeed the remnants of this calving over the course of five and a half years they had travelled north and east around over half the globe, a journey of some 13,500 km.
From January 12 and January 13, 2010, an area of sea ice larger than the state of Rhode Island, or one-seventh the size of Wales, broke away from the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf and shattered into many smaller pieces. The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured this event in this series of photo-like images; the ice of the Filchner-Ronne ice shelf can be as thick as 600 m. The international Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf Programme was initiated in 1973 to study the ice shelf. A study published in Nature in 2012 by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, funded by the Ice2Sea initiative, predicts the disappearance of the 450,000 km2 vast ice shelf in Antarctica by the end of the century which could - indirectly - add up to 4.4 mm of rise of sea level each year. Belgrano I Base Ellsworth Station Weddell Gyre "Satellite image/map of Ronne". National Snow and Ice Data Center. 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2008-01-26. "Satellite image/map of Filchner".
National Snow and Ice Data Center. 2002-12-03. Retrieved 2008-01-26. Big Antarctic ice sheet appears doomed; this article incorporates public domain material from the United States Geological Survey document "Filchner Ice Shelf"
Chile the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, the Drake Passage in the far south. Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, although all claims are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty; the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. The small central area dominates in terms of population and agricultural resources, is the cultural and political center from which Chile expanded in the late 19th century when it incorporated its northern and southern regions. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, features a string of volcanoes and lakes; the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, canals, twisting peninsulas, islands.
Spain conquered and colonized the region in the mid-16th century, replacing Inca rule in the north and centre, but failing to conquer the independent Mapuche who inhabited what is now south-central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a stable authoritarian republic. In the 19th century, Chile saw significant economic and territorial growth, ending Mapuche resistance in the 1880s and gaining its current northern territory in the War of the Pacific after defeating Peru and Bolivia. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil; this development culminated with the 1973 Chilean coup d'état that overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically elected left-wing government and instituted a 16-year-long right-wing military dictatorship that left more than 3,000 people dead or missing. The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a center-left coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010.
The modern sovereign state of Chile is among South America's most economically and stable and prosperous nations, with a high-income economy and high living standards. It leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, income per capita, state of peace, economic freedom, low perception of corruption, it ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, democratic development. Chile is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, joining in 2010, it has the lowest homicide rate in the Americas after Canada. Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile. According to 17th-century Spanish chronicler Diego de Rosales, the Incas called the valley of the Aconcagua "Chili" by corruption of the name of a Picunche tribal chief called Tili, who ruled the area at the time of the Incan conquest in the 15th century.
Another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Other theories say Chile may derive its name from a Native American word meaning either "ends of the earth" or "sea gulls". Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a bird locally known as trile; the Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, the few survivors of Diego de Almagro's first Spanish expedition south from Peru in 1535–36 called themselves the "men of Chilli". Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such; the older spelling "Chili" was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching to "Chile". Stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating indigenous Peoples settled in fertile valleys and coastal areas of what is present-day Chile.
Settlement sites from early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodón and the Pali-Aike Crater's lava tube. The Incas extended their empire into what is now northern Chile, but the Mapuche resisted many attempts by the Inca Empire to subjugate them, despite their lack of state organization, they fought against his army. The result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. In 1520, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the southern passage now named after him thus becoming the first European to set foot on what is now Chile; the next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, who came from Peru in 1535 seeking gold. The Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting; the conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarro's lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541.
Although the Spanish did not find the extensive gold and silver they sought, they recognize