Pocket Space Guide #2
by Robert Godwin
If you always thought that it was Giovanni Schiaparelli who first coined the phrase “Canali” pertaining to the straight lines he appeared to observe on Mars you’d be wrong. In 1858 an astronomer working at the Vatican observatory named father Pietro Angelo Secchi took it upon himself to create his own drawings of Mars. The red planet was now nearing a close approach to earth and the powerful Vatican telescope was capable of resolving detail previously invisible to most astronomers. Secchi thought he saw a series of straight lines on the Martian surface so he made an innocuous notation in his notes. His sketches and articles were published in 1859 in which he referred several times to “Canale Atlantico” or“Canale Ceruleo”. His regrettable choice of words would not have an impact for another eight years.
In this highly readable and informative second book in our Pocket Space Guide© series, we tell not only about people and places that have influenced mankind’s relationship with the enigmatic red planet, but we also show you the color drawings that Secchi made, which were provided to us directly by the Vatican itself. Along with many other interesting stories, drawings and photographs this book will be a prize for both the novice or ardent student of Mars.
Don’t let its small size deceive you, this book is packed with amazing stories and is a must have for anybody with the slightest interest in our our next door neighbour in space.