THE word “new” when applied to a celestial phenomenon may be used in either of two senses. It may mean new to earthly observation, i.e. one which has never been seen by human beings before, or, secondly, new in itself, that is, one which has had no previous existence. New canals on Mars in the first sense, though always interesting, and at times highly important, are no novelty at this observatory, inasmuch as some four hundred have been discovered here in the last fifteen years. When Schiaparelli left his great work, he had mapped about 120 canals; with those detected here since, the number has now risen to between five and six hundred. Each of the four hundred thus added to the list, however rich an acquisition at the time it first came to be noticed, was not necessarily otherwise remarkable.
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Journal for the History of Astronomy (2003)