Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer who became known for having organised the first circumnavigation of the Earth. He was born in a still disputed location in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the “Spice Islands” (modernMaluku Islands in Indonesia).
Magellan’s expedition of 1519–1522 became the first expedition to sail from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean (then named “peaceful sea” by Magellan; the passage being made via the Strait of Magellan), and the first to cross the Pacific. His expedition completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth, although Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage, being killed during the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines. (For background see Exploration of the Pacific.)
Magellan also gives his name to the Magellanic Penguin, which he was the first European to note; the Magellanic clouds, now known to be nearbydwarf galaxies; the twin lunar craters of Magelhaens and Magelhaens A; and the Martian crater of Magelhaens.
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