Map of Mars, Schiaparelli, 1888

Map of Mars, Schiaparelli, 1888

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Credit: DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Map of Mars. Historical map of the surface of Mars. This map was made by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) and it was published in 1888 in Germany. Schiaparelli called the straight surface features canals, and 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 idea that there was life on Mars was very popular around the end of the 19th century.

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