JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wide-angle view of the 24-inch (61-centimetre) refracting telescope at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. Unlike most large telescopes which use mirrors to form the image, a refractor uses lenses. This generally allows much brighter views, and is ideal for conventional photography. This telescope was delivered to Percival Lowell's newly-founded observatory in 1896 and was used by him to map the Martian "canals", first reported by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1881. Lowell mapped over 500 canals and noted in detail seasonal changes which seemed to mark the ebb and flow of agriculture. Modern science has found no evidence of canals or life on the planet.
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