the seas of mars

Forums History The Seas of Mars the seas of mars

Neil Morrison

I have a book  Lessons in Astronomy by  Norman Lockyer first printed in 1868. My edition  is the  revision  of April 1889.

There are two plates in it   Page115 paragraph 256   “”Let us  begin with Mars .. We give in Plate IX  two sketches taken in the year 1862. ,Here at once we see that we have something singularly  like Earth. The  shaded  portions  represent water , the  lighter ones land , and the bright spot at the top of the drawings is probably snow lying  round the  south po0le of the planet  which was then visible. The upper  drawing was made on the 25th september ,the lower one on the 23rd In the upper one a sea is seen  on the left , stretching  down northwards ; while , joined on  to it  as the Mediterranean is joined on to the Aatlantic, is a long  narrow  sea , which  widens at its termination.  Paragraph  259 Mars not only  has land and water and  snow ‘but it has  clouds and mists, and these have been watched  at different times.  The land is  generally  reddish  when the planets atmosphere is clear ; this is due to the  absorption  of the atmosphere, as is the  colour of the setting  sun with us.  The water  appears of a  greenish tinge.     

Paragraph 259a   A  very  curious  feature  of the surface of Mars was detected  in 1877, when the planet made  one of its nearest approaches to Earth.  the so called “continents” were then seen to be  divided into innumerable  islands  by a network of ” canals”, or long and narrow  arms of the seas, some times running  almost in a straight line for 3,000 or 4,000 miles.  It was on the same occasion that the moons of Mars  were discovered by Professor Hall at Washington

 There is no credit given as to whom the  observer was who made the drawings “The   book was  prepared as a Science text book  for  schools.   Very interesting to read the  ideas of 1862 and what  we  understand today  with our modern in situ  exploration of Mars.