The Canals of Mars

Shelby Hoffmann

For a time in the late 19th Century, it is believed that there were Canals on Mars. Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed Mars in 1877, and was the first ever to describe, name, and roughly illustrate mysterious straight lines along the middle of Mars. Schiaparelli called these lines the Canali.
These lines were viewed with the telescopes used in modern explorations in the solar system today. Mars was difficult to view through the cameras with a naked eye because of the air present in the atmosphere.

Other astronomers were set off by these illusions, but still ran with the idea. Irish astronomer Charles E. Burton made sketches of the lines, or Canali, again as Giovanni Schiaparelli referred to them as. Burton contemplated that the mysterious lines were used by Martian sorcerers. American astronomer Percival Lowell made the most pledged speculations on the subject. Despite what other astronomers believed, Lowell proved that Canals in fact did show life on the planet of Mars. "That mars is inhabited by beings of some sort of other we may consider as certain as it is uncertain as it is uncertain what those beings may be." Says Lowell.

As hard as Percival Lowell tried to prove that the Canals on Mars existed and had not been made up by himself or anyone else, (he even wrote books about the topic), the idea was destroyed. Research and ideas about the Canals' existence lasted up until the 20th Century, until observation technologies were advanced enough to reveal the canals as an optical illusion.

Despite what other astronomers might regard, I agree with Percival Lowell that there was in fact life on Mars in the late 19th Century. I believe this because he had proof- he had pictures and drawings to prove his thoughts. That's what the other astronomers didn't have, and why Percival made an impact about what people think about mars.