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Life on MarsWhat to Know Before We Go$
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David A. Weintraub

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209258

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209258.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Canal Builders

Canal Builders

(p.89) 8 Canal Builders
Life on Mars

David A. Weintraub

Princeton University Press

This chapter details how Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli redrew and re-imagined the surface of Mars, and discovered what he believed to be a planet-girdling system of 75-mile-wide canals. It mentions the premier international prize in astronomy, the Lalande Prize, that was bestowed to Schiaparelli, who connected the physics of the dusty debris swept up by Earth as it orbits the Sun to the detritus shed by comets as they orbit the Sun. It also details Schiaparelli's first observations of Mars in the summer of 1877 using the 8.6-inch Merz refractor. The chapter considers the result of Schiaparelli's efforts as the most accurate map yet made of the surface of Mars during the time. It notes Schiaparelli's professional opinion that the Martian canal system was steadily growing more extensive across the planet.

Keywords:   Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli, Mars, Lalande Prize, dusty debris, Martian canal system

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