Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS
Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS
Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS
Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS
Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS
Item 65492. MARS AND ITS CANALS

MARS AND ITS CANALS

New York: The Macmillian Company, 1906. Hardcover. Item #41919

8vo; 1st edition. Original green publisher's cloth with gilt lettering and top edge gilt. 8vo, 393 pages, illustrated with 16 plates with tissue guards, including 4 in color, as well as photographs, maps, and in-text woodcuts. Early 20th Century work on the observations of Mars. Percival Lawrence Lowell (1855-1916) was a businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer who fueled speculation that there were canals on Mars, founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and formed the beginning of the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death. He was particularly interested in the canals of Mars, as drawn by Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who was director of the Milan Observatory. In 1894 Lowell chose Flagstaff, Arizona Territory as the home of his new observatory. For the next fifteen years he studied Mars extensively, and made intricate drawings of the surface markings as he perceived them. Lowell published his views in three books: Mars (1895), Mars and Its Canals (1906), and Mars As the Abode of Life (1908). With these writings, Lowell more than anyone else popularized the long-held belief that these markings showed that Mars sustained intelligent life forms. His works include a detailed description of what he termed the 'non-natural features' of the planet's surface, including especially a full account of the 'canals,' single and double; the 'oases,' as he termed the dark spots at their intersections; and the varying visibility of both, depending partly on the Martian seasons. He theorized that an advanced but desperate culture had built the canals to tap Mars' polar ice caps, the last source of water on an inexorably drying planet. While this idea excited the public, the astronomical community was skeptical. Many astronomers could not see these markings, and few believed that they were as extensive as Lowell claimed. Light shelf wear to corners of cloth as expected, internally very clean, an excellent copy, Very Good Condition (MX-38-2).

Price: $550.00

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