Schiaparelli's map of Mars, 1877-1888

Schiaparelli's map of Mars, 1877-1888

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Schiaparelli's map of Mars. This drawing of the two hemispheres of Mars was made by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) between the years 1877 and 1888. He named the 'seas' and 'continents' of Mars, and called the straight surface features channels (mistranslated as canals). He also noticed that the patterns on the surface changed with the Martian seasons. He wrongly assumed this to be due to seasonal changes in vegetation. It is now known that Mars is swept by powerful dust storms which alter the surface features. The accompanying text is in German.

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