|The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discovery|
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To Brendan and Ryan
and the Martians of the next generation
A century ago, at the height of what might be referred to as the "canal furor," Camille Flammarion published the first volume of his great work, La Planète Mars, which summarized what was then known about the planet. In his preface he described how he hesitated between two methods of presenting the state of Martian knowledge---in special chapters dealing with topics such as continents, seas, polar caps, and so on; or chronologically, in the order in which the facts had been obtained. He at length decided on the latter approach, "mainly," he wrote, "because it seemed to me to be the more interesting . . . and also because it provides a better account of the gradual development of our knowledge." So it has seemed to me, and I have done likewise. What follows, then, is a history of Martian exploration from the earliest stirrings of human curiosity about the planet right up to the present time when, after a lull of twenty years and after suffering through the disappointments of the Russian Phobos and American Mars Observer missions, we stand again poised on the verge of a more vigorous phase of exploration of the planet.
I must here acknowledge the help I have had in preparing this volume. Dr. Richard McKim, director of the Mars Section of the British Astronomical Association, and Thomas Dobbins were generous in giving of their valuable time to read through the manuscript, and they made many helpful comments. So did two anonymous reviewers for the University of Arizona Press. Dr. Patrick Moore very kindly put at my disposal one of only four existing copies of his English translation of Flammarion's La Planète Mars, which has been indispensable, and granted me permission to quote from it and from his earlier translations of the works of E. M. Antoniadi. Drs. Audouin Dollfus and Henri Camichel provided much information about their own studies of Mars as well as about the work of other French pioneers---these were men who received the torch of the great Antoniadi. For help in tracking down material on G. V. Schiaparelli, I am grateful to Signor Luigi Prestinenza; and for permission to use material from the Schiaparelli Archives, my thanks to Professor Guido Chincarini, director of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera. Dieter Gerdes, curator of the Heimatverein Lilienthal, was a valuable source of information about J. H. Schroeter. The help of Michael Sims of the Special Collections of Vanderbilt University Archives, Dorothy Schaumberg of the Mary Lea Shane Archives of the Lick Observatory, and Judith Lola Bausch and Richard Dreiser of the Yerkes Observatory is acknowledged. Though my interest in Mars began in my early youth (as has been the case for so many who have been fired with enthusiasm about the planet), my scholarly habits were greatly stimulated by my visit to Lowell Observatory in 1982. I owe much to the encouragement of the late William Graves Hoyt, historian, whose own researches on Percival Lowell resonate in this volume, and Arthur Hoag, director of the Lowell Observatory. Michael J. Crowe, of the University of Notre Dame, also encouraged my research at an early stage. A number of astronomers shared their observations and observing lore related to the red planet, especially Tom Cave, Tom Dobbins, Rodger Gordon, Walter Haas, Harold Hill, and Alan Lenham. Barry Di Gregorio scouted out information regarding the future spacecraft missions. Finally, I am grateful to Richard Baum for his inspiration over many years, and to my wife, Deborah, for helping me in more ways than I can name.