The Seas of Mars

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  • #574732
    David Strange
    Participant

    Couldn’t resist a photo of this drawing of Mars dated 1862/64 from NLO archives.  It was produced by Prof. Phillips at Oxford who was Lockyer’s mentor. Lockyer was an avid Mars observer and even had a vast flat basin named after him, which appeared on  Richard Proctor’s map – Lockyer Land. This was later renamed Hellas by Schiaparelli. There was a lot of water about in those days!

    David

    #583125
    Neil Morrison
    Participant

    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. 

    #583126
    Neil Morrison
    Participant

    Plate XI

    #583127
    Neil Morrison
    Participant

    #583129
    David Strange
    Participant

    At around the time Lowell’s “Canals on Mars” story was evolving, H.G,Wells was studying biology at the Normal School of Science, apparently he attended a few of Lockyer’s astronomy lectures which no doubt seeded his ideas for “War of the Worlds”.

    David

    #583130
    Richard McKim
    Participant

    Lockyer was a very good artist and observer, and his drawings of 1862 are the best available, though there are some other good drawings in the literature. The map given by David is also included in the famous book by Flammarion, and it relied quite a lot on the drawings of W.R.Dawes, whose originals I published in the Journal many years ago. I have seen the hand-drawn original coloured version of the Phillips map, but I do not have the copyright permission to post an image of it here. Comparison shows that once again the engraver did not really do the original map justice. Had Schiaparelli found a more sympathetic engraver who could have rendered the famous 1877 drawings in a closer manner to the originals I am sure that the debate about the martian canals would have evolved differently.

    #583151
    David Strange
    Participant

    I came across this Mars map that pre-dates Schiaparelli’s from Patrick Moore’s Guide to Mars 1956. Lockyer Land became Hellas, and the Kaiser Sea became Syrtis Major.

    David

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