© U8MyCrayons 2012. Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Giovanni Schiaparelli's Birthday

Today's Google Logo is representing the Birthday of Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (March 14, 1835 – July 4, 1910). schiaprelli was an Italian astronomer and science historian.

He was also a senator of the Kingdom of Italy, a member of the
Accademia dei Lincei, the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino and the Regio Istituto Lombardo, and is particularly known for his studies of Mars.

Among Schiaparelli's contributions are his telescopic observations of Mars. In his initial observations, he named the "seas" and "continents" of Mars. During Italy's "Great Opposition" of 1877, he observed a dense network of linear structures on the surface of Mars which he called "canali" in Italian, meaning "channels" but mistranslated as "canals". While the latter term indicates an artificial construction, the former indicates the connotation that it can also be a natural configuration of the land. From this incorrect translation, various assumptions about life on Mars derived, as the "canals" of Mars soon became famous, giving rise to waves of hypotheses, speculation and folklore about the possibility of life on Mars.

In his book Life on Mars, Schiaparelli writes: "Rather than true channels in a form familiar to us, we must imagine depressions in the soil that are not very deep, extended in a straight direction for thousands of miles, over a width of 100, 200 kilometers and maybe more. I have already pointed out that, in the absence of rain on Mars, these channels are probably the main mechanism by which the water (and with it organic life) can spread on the dry surface of the planet

1 comment:

  1. I have seen that. Plus i think the normal google sign over all has changed up a bit too. with the lighting and everything.