Mars - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 8 pages of information about Mars.
This section contains 2,249 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
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Basic Physical and Orbital Properties

Mars displays a number of Earth-like properties, including a similar rotation period, seasons, polar caps, and an atmosphere. In the 1800s astronomers also noted seasonal changes in surface brightness, which they attributed to vegetation. In 1877 Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli reported the detection of thin lines crossing the planet, which he called canali, Italian for "channels." But the term was mistranslated into English as "canals," which implies waterways constructed by intelligent beings. American astronomer Percival Lowell (1855-1916) popularized the idea of canals as evidence of a Martian civilization, although most of his colleagues believed these features were optical illusions. This controversy continued until the 1960s when spacecraft exploration of the planet showed no evidence of the canals.

View of Mars from the Hubble Space Telescope. This image is centered on the dark feature known as Syrtis Major, which was first seen by astronomers in the seventeenth century. To the south of Syrtis is a large circular feature called Hellas, a deep impact crater. View of Mars from the Hubble Space Telescope. This image is centered on the dark feature known as Syrtis Major, which was first seen by astronomers in the...

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This section contains 2,249 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Mars Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Mars from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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