Mars During the Recent Opposition


SO far as can be judged from those yet published, the results accruing from the observations of Mars made during the opposition of 1909 are, in a sense, disappointing. The favourable conditions of the opposition, as regards the altitude and the apparent diameter of the planet, engendered the hope, in many minds, that most of the outstanding problems in the Martian enigma would be solved more or less definitely. Yet the camps into which areographers are divided are still at issue, and the differences appear to be at least as sharply accentuated as before. To the one side the canali are still continuous channels, set out with a rectitude more or less geometrical, and having “oases” around the reservoirs upon which they appear to converge; but to the opposition these clearly cut channels are but alignments of dark spots merged into apparent continuity by a physiological illusion.


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ROLSTON, W. Mars During the Recent Opposition . Nature 83, 440–443 (1910).

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