Harikalar Diyarında of Hatter Tea Party posted a fun post about the Martian canals, which served as inspiration for a lot of things, most near and dear to my heart–science fiction from the Golden Age and beyond!
Check out the original post: besides being interesting, it also has some pretty pictures!
Excerpted from Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan:
In August of 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli turned his telescope towards Mars. The director of the Brera Observatory in Milan had installed an eight-inch Merz refractor on the roof of the Brera Palace, initially to observe double stars. Pleased with its performance on that task, he wanted to see if it ‘possessed the necessary qualities to allow also for the studies of the surfaces of the planets’. With Mars due to be in opposition with Earth in early September, Schiaparelli decided to seize the opportunity.
The observations he made over the next two months transformed our image of the Red Planet. In addition to previously noted brighter and darker areas, referred to as terrae (lands) and maria (seas), he could now distinguish, at first ‘in a very vague and indeterminate manner’, dark lines…
View original post 389 more words