Maunder's study of canals on Mars, 1902

Maunder's study of canals on Mars, 1902

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Maunder's study of canals on Mars. Drawings of Mars resulting from an experiment by the British astronomer Edward Walter Maunder (1851-1928) to show that the "canals" observed on Mars were an optical illusion. The results of the experiment were published in 1902 and 1903 in volume 63 of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Maunder had asked his experimental subjects to redraw a drawing of Mars (see V700/336), with the subjects placed at varying distances from the drawing (from 17 feet to 37.5 feet). Maunder concluded that the "canals" were an optical illusion.

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