The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on May 5, 1907 · 86
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 86

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 5, 1907
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T m- fr - mr wn,m . -. - :.LIFE ; 3U5TAI rat im MEDIUM T li kf , t IT" 5 VI 5 , t 111 V i I is M v l 1- A ' AN CY a company uj Martian laborers, imported fro m their distant planet to dig the Panama Canal. How the fr would fly! Digging such a little ditch would be a matter of merely a few week s' exercise. , Each' Martian, according to the most recent estimate's of scientists, could toss over his shoulders two and a half tons at a shdvelful and the supreme achievement of the race is canal divpin?. -1 - . - , o o - For the giants of Mars are canal makers through stern necessity. It is not for pur-poses of commerce that they have lined and ribbed their dying planet with a vast system of waterways. Only through the most gigantic network cf canals conceivable are they able to keep life in their arid world : and provide sustenance for themselves. Scientists now declare $hat the many lines and dark spots on Mars represent verdure along a most wonderful canal system, which the inhabitants of the planet have constructed for purposes of irrigation. .. Through these artificial waterways the melting snow and ice of the poles are car- - ried to various parts of the planet, and so ' " the Martians are able to raise their, cropr in season and to stay, for a time, the men-acing dry decay of their world. EVERAli of the "greatest present-day astron omersLowell, Pickering, " Flaramarlon, Morse anil others have practically agreed on the theory that Mars contains , no rivers, lakes. oceans or any other source of water supjily than the great caps of snow on the north and south poles. Infha summer time, when the people must pro . duce vegetation or starve, the melting snow from - those extremities of the sphere Is carefully, system-, j i etknlly coaxed through artificial waterways to the furthermost sections where It is needed. ' The Martians ;,: tven make the water run up hill, it is declared. ; . Amongr recent contributions to tho learning of '. nations on the subject of Mars is the result of thirty-.... four days study of the planet made in the Lowell -m Observatory, at Flagstaff, Aris., by Professor E. S. Morse, member of the American National Academy of n Science. Of course. Professor Morse believes that Mars is , ;inijabled. The astronomers all do, now. It is with -relation to how the inhabitants live that his Invest'-. c&tions aw f value...- ' : i -TJle goes on the assumption that Mars is a Very : old planet millions; of years older, than this earth; that with the gradual flattening of her hills and fiU- . ing in of' her valleys, combined with seismic disturb-ances, she hus retained none of her great bodies of water so necessary to life, and that her people would perish if their ingenuity did not every year bring j h water at critical times from the poles. x 2 one important matter Morse disagrees with f some of the leading astronomers with respect to the T" weather conditions In Mars. , r"'Cother .autno'Itle8 have stated that tho atmosphere ; there is perfectly placid, so much 80 that when -the - weather becomes cold enbugh to cause frost and snow, , . the settling of the flakes cannot be considered a storm, Xl'Tpnly an accumulation.' . Z "T." Eut Morse is .said to have become convinced that -' winds sweep over the surface of Mars; that there are " dust storms on its deserts in 6hort, that it is a world nri many respects like ours. ; But wost tragic -of all the deductions which the , astronomer has made from his thirty-four nights in the obkervatory is that Mars is makrng ihe greatest fight-5 for xistencs eyer recorded the attempt of a planet to hang on to existence' uftcr its resources for the bus- ' lenanctt of life have been exhausted. ' - And the way in which this is done is the perfect- ing of a canai system. ' J Th curious markings on the face of Uters which i. - art-now-accepted to be canals were first discovered by Professor Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian as-tronomer, many yt-ars ago. Of the recent .studies as . to the meanings cf these lines by far the most im-" - portant have been made aj the Lowell. Otservatory. ' "The lines of Mars are," profossor Morse ays, "almost without excerti'm, getKletiea'lv straight, su- " - rernaturally so and this is in spite of their leading in ; evf-ry possible direction. They invariably begin and , nd at definite places. ". As to the meaning of the lines, the scientist be- - lieves that they cannot possibly fee earthquako fissures, because Mars long since ceased to show any activities whteh might nave caused cracks In her urface; ' Jiitil the old tnes would have liei-n long ppo elimin-Ued. 1 herefore he thinks it perfectly k Hsonable to sup-- - joe ti-at they were designed for a tlrflnitj purpose IT t -f T -v '3"- "fi . J i ----- - - ----- v f ) '" ' .-yj ! -Vf ' - M V v? W I !- w 12 fm Hk-4 y( r :"' W y yy.- r " At fa- av. lb -i! -,:-' ' v . ... : a i yih , :)v y yy y :vj-r'; - ' -. yy . ' yy.: aw : m y j yMKtyyy w L tl - - --I, --) .r "' ''" ' ' : WlMlllMBS, I V' ''. t .-. i I- ' f . I to coaduet water from those regions where water Is found for the purpose of irrigation. ' He admits that he had .not been a believer In the idea of canals on Mars when he began his study; he desired to acquire all his .Information relating to the subject at first hand. , , i "As to the existence of .water," he says, "one haa only .to consider the polar snewesps. In the height of Ihe southern winter the snowcaps measure. more than 200O miles acrcss, covering 55 degrees of latitude un-broJienly. As the spring advances the f now begins to melt, disappearing rapidly as summer comes on, its place being taken by dark patches of water.". Some" time ago actual photosrophs of the Martian canals were takon at the Lowell Observatory by C. O. Lamiand. This was . a wonderful accomplishment, considering that the nearest point or. Iters Is. 35,030.000 miles from the earth, and even when the atmosphere Is clear enough to permit a. view. of the fine lines, the dancing rays of nebulous light make it armost impossible to see with distinctness. The photographs in themselves wtre small ard of little worth pictorialxy, but it has been possible from them to make a chart of the Martian canals which may be accepted as practically correct. But even when the atmosphere is perfectly clear, tho c.-inais are not visible all the year round. 'In fact, they appear and disappear with seasonal regularity. Some critics have used this fact as argument against the line being really canals, for, they said, if it be assumed that a finite power dug thcanals how can we account for. that power's foolishly filling them up ngaln? This, Professor Perclval Lowell, non-resident pro-ftwor of astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains in a novel way. Ths strips which we see. saye Professor Lowell, are not really the canals, but are strips of vegetation t ; which spring up along the canals when the great sluices aw full of water, and are net visible at other times. - And this he apparently substantiates by saying that tho green strips deepen in color as the days pass, just ns foliage deepens in hue with tho advance of the eeason. , . Another arguirent. ' The photographs show that cne or two of the canals show double lines, while the others arl in single, lines. This might indicate that the double-lined ones are the main canals the feeders which are so much wider than the ethers that the vigotation on both sides may be distinguished, while in the narrower ones it seems o great la the din tanc like- a sinW- line. ' . On Mars, net only 1o two. ami 1 throe. lines run through a O'tnmon roint. hut aa many Jas seventeen lines may be chscrved running through aVomrrron c-ip- tra. Buert exceptional accuacy or u'nn-poiuia to a . mind which -directed '.:the power that wrought the " " Ordirarlly-leavihg, the lines out of the question-r i the eurface-of Mars' as Wealed by the telescope, con- sists or spaces' ot two different colors-some orange, others blue-grecnl-1 : - ,- T A: few years-back th blue green spaces were, con- ; rsidered seas., and wero christened by various names. Thf orange, parts,' on the other hand, were presumed 7 to be cofitmenjts. -,; '' ; . " ' " .1 ; .nre.hese jold physical geography notions. Now the blue-green .spaces are practically known - to be the -vpg?tatifm created by . the annual Inund.Ulon from the canals, . while the orange spaces are called -deserts; -' "- "" ' ' . . In other words. Mars is all land1, except that thj parts which sometimes show up blue-green nave water in them at one eeason cf the year, while 4he orange parts are continuous Saharas.- ' " . . What are, the spots where the canals InterlaceT j . Professor , Pickering's polariscote has apparently dis- pell-d the idea that .thev are lakes. , Professor Lowell, who has located 1S5 'of these spots, is eaid'to be of the opinion thaf-th-sy are oases, . and that they are each spring Irrigated by the canais, which approach them, from different directions. . "Whatever confchtuies the canals," said Frofessor -Lowell recently,- "it Is evident that their development ' proceeds from the pole down the dik. and, fu?her--inore. that it advances over the surface at a fauiy-. n "ItrstartJ atv th. V in-inc r solat ice';-that It,, it"f--low the mtlting otUlu- pilar -p. In P''S the water thsn let loose, the canals com into tng ... Professor Lowell believes that practically thj only source' of water supply , for the planet is about the poles. So long as the sun remains over the equator there is no water. x On Mars the vegetation spreads mum the polos, because the snow must melt and the water flow into the-canals b-.fore verdure can grow. And in this connection Professor Lowell has made one of the mcst astounding of all his statements. He says; . "The quickening proceeds rapidly, and very nearly, if not quite, uniformly down the dish. It takes the darkening only five days to descend from tho seventy-fifth parallel to the eq tator, a Journey of 2600 miles. This means a speed of fifty-three miles a day, or two and two-tenths miles an hour. And it does this in the face of gravity." - : In fact, in plain language, the astronomer declares that not only does human intelligence in Mars dig the vast canals thousands of miles in length, but that. by somo mysterious method, it causes the wate to run up bun ; ,'-.- . Professor Camille Flammarlon, who has made & careful study 'of the planet, has been for several years watching tho snowfalls on Mars. Ho .believes, that the Martian seasons may be subject to as many vicissitudes as ours, instead of being actuated by the exceptional constancy hitherto attributed to them. He agrees that the canal systems are artificial and were constructed with a vlew,to irrigation. What manner of people are these who do such remarkable things? Obviously, a quite different kind .-from the inhabitants of this earth. According to-the best authorities, fcunded on tho i. most recent investigations, the Martian is a creature immensely more powerful, physically, than earth mor-i ttvls, even earth giants. This is deduced from the lesser . pull cf gravity on Mars. . A Martian could run W0 yards in three or four seconds, coulrf leap, over a high tree, could kick a football a quarter of a mle. , ' - Because of the lesser attraction of gravity he may ,-bo at least three or four tlmas as big as tha average ', human being, pwhaps even much , larger than lhat. Another -thing which, ptrhafs, "adds weight to this 'belief is that, on account of the rarefied air cn Mars, a l.tirtian must require three times as much lung space as an earth mortal to get enough air to live; and Us hndv mcst be proportioned sicconlliiKly. Ldies on the planet Mars weigh but a third at - much in proportion to sis as they do here; so it is , fliiif-ved that a Martian laborer could perform as much Wori in a givn time as fifty or sixty terrestrial ditch ftlKirers- that he' could handle two and a half tons of '''dirt at a: shovelful. So his annual Irrigation work may . not be aa difficult as it seems - - . The K-artian year is much longer; in fact, nearly twirc as long as ours. It takes Man CS7 days to travel on its orbit around the sun. ' , Tne next few years may see the secrets of Mara disclosed as 'never before. It is conceded that in the clear light of the "earth's South Pole teltsccpic observations may be made with unprecedented iiucws; and lxni Phllipe Bevrier, a wealthy Argentine citizen. i. eciuipping an expedition which, hfadei' by three Amer--ans. will 'tart toward the Bouth Pole in June with "this md in view. - if A 1$ If ' r ;!

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