Planetary Photography


THE recording on photographic plates of the canals of Mars is as significant from a technical point of view as it has proved of widespread interest in its result; for the method which alone rendered success possible had first to be developed, previous celestial photographic processes being inadequate to the task. At the request of the editor of NATURE, I propose to give some account of the method pursued, and the more gladly in that it is evident from attempts to follow it that its principles arc as yet as much a terra incognita as have for so long remained the canals themselves. The process is the outcome of four years' study by Mr. Lampland, who, to a knowledge of the end desired, acquired from visual work on the planet, added experimental research on the means to attain it. Of the difficulty of the subject the best testimony are the words Schiaparelli wrote the writer on receiving in 1905 the first prints from the plates:—“I would never have believed the thing could be done.”

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LOWELL, P. Planetary Photography . Nature 77, 402–404 (1908).

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