Mars Channels and Little Green Aliens

The first records that Mars, which fascinates people with its distinct red glow in the sky, are mentioned as a moving object in the sky, were written by Egyptian astronomers about 5,000 years ago. We also know that Babylonians make important astronomical calculations about Mars. Since the fiction of “Marsians who build channels on Mars” is actually due to the insufficiency of observation tools, it is useful to take a look at the brief history of Mars observations before entering the subject.
In the 300s BC, Aristotle made the inference that Mars was located further away from the Moon by observing that Mars remained behind the Moon during an eclipse. In the 100s BC, Ptolemy made important studies on Mars in the Solar System model that Mars created to solve the orbital movement problem.
A.D. In the 400s, Indian astronomers calculated the estimated diameter of Mars. No significant studies or discoveries were made about Mars from this period until the 1600s, except that Michael Maestlin observed Mars being covered by Venus on October 13, 1590.

By the 1600s, Tycho Brahe's calculation of the daily parallax of Mars made it possible for Johannes Kepler to measure the first relative distance of Mars. However, the inadequacy of the observation tools of that time was a direct obstacle to calculations and measurements. Finally, in 1610, Mars observation was made for the first time by telescope inventor Galileo Galilei. This observation of Galileo would be a milestone in paving the way for great developments in astronomy. For example, thanks to the first telescopes, the first terrain drawings of Mars were discovered in 1639 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. These drawings are considered very successful considering the quality of the telescopes of the period, but of course they lack many details.
The shape of '' V '' that Huygens included in the first Mars drawing is known as '' Syrtis Major ''. In Huygens' drawing we can see that this shape is much larger than it actually is. Thanks to the great advantage of telescopes after Huygens, Mars' daily parallax value was re-measured by Giovanni Cassini in 1672 in order to learn the distance between the Sun and Earth. By the 1800s, it was possible to observe the surface structures of Mars with the further development of telescopes. With this development, great discussions about Mars would begin.

In the meantime, it should be noted that most of the scientists were convinced that there was life on Mars and Venus, with the development of our telescopes in the 18th and 19th centuries and the fact that we started to get images that were a little more detailed but not giving an idea. According to scientists, Venus was a tropical planet, dominated by forests, with warm and rainy rain. Similarly, Mars was seen as a planet with water, lakes and rivers on its surface, in which liquid water flows.

Italian Astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who had the opportunity to make Mars come to the opposite position on September 5, 1877, started to draw the first map of Mars with his 22 cm telescope in Milan. Schiaparelli has successfully drawn many surface shapes of Mars. However, he still saw some structures that he did not fully understand what had happened. These structures were straight lines across the deserts of Mars. That's why Schiaparelli gave these straight lines the Italian name "canali".
At that time, while the word "canali" had to be translated as "channel", which means "hollow" in English, it was translated to "canal" which means "channel" with a simple translation error. As it is known, while the word “groove” (channel) means a pit formed in a straight line that is not related to water; The word “channel” (canal) means the road opened to carry water by artificial means. Finally, when these lines mentioned by Schiaparelli could not be seen by others for a long time, an “optical illusion” was applied to these lines later.
After the Schiaparelli, the American astronomer Percival Lowell, who was affected by all these observations and debates, built an observatory with 30 and 45 cm telescopes that were approximately two times stronger than the telescope used by Schiaparelli and started Mars observations. Lowell made hundreds of Mars sketches from 1895 to the year of death, 1916. Lowell, who also included the canal systems that seemed to be created artificially in his drawings, had a bad feeling for the idea that living things on Mars were building this network of canal systems.
Lowell, who was also one of the first astronomers to mention the Mars mountains, claimed that the Marsians were carrying water from the ice-covered areas to the dry areas of the equator, and even went as far as to say the following; "It is as clear as it is unknown what these creatures live on Mars, that or that kind of life."

The author of the Book of Planets on the subject, and astronomer Patrick Moore, writes on page 117 of his book; “While making his observations, Lowell used a 45-inch lens telescope. It was one of the most advanced examples of its kind. I can guarantee you in this regard, because I used it a lot when I mapped the Moon. I looked at Mars with him too, but I can't claim to see any channels. ”

As the telescopes got stronger, artificial channels seemed to rot. So much so that these channels, except for irregular shapes, were not found in Mars observations made in 1909 with a 84 cm telescope by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion. It should be noted that this telescope used by Flammarion is about four times stronger than the telescope used by Schiaparelli and two times stronger than Lowell's strongest telescope.
Moreover, even in the photographs sent by Mariner 4, the first spacecraft that passed near Mars in 1965, the mentioned channels were not found. The point was that Lowell and a few more astronomers, along with it, drew what they wanted to see, disregarding the fact that their telescopes were insufficient to produce highly detailed maps. As a matter of fact, Lowell claimed that he saw the channels he mentioned on Mars in Jupiter, Mercury and Venus.

The Mars Channels hypothesis, which was abandoned in a very short time, reminds us of the frequent Mars delusions today. In addition, the fact that the Mars Channels claim was gradually abandoned with the strengthening of observation tools over time is similar to the fact that as UFO videos and photos become clearer today, it is understood that the images are not UFOs. Wherever there is uncertainty, mankind cannot prevent himself from placing his imaginations there.


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