Yesterday in my lesson entitled "The Search for Life on Mars: 19th and 20th
Century Myths," I repeated an experiment conducted by the English astronomer
E. Walter Maunder with a group of English school boys over a century ago to
determine whether or not the martian canals were an optical illusion. I
posted a small 19th century drawing of Mars at the front of the room showing
the classical smudges that are usually seen on the red planet through a
telescope. And, again and again with each of my classes the students in the
back of the room drew linear features and oasis that were not present on the
drawing posted on the front of the room. I proceeded on to outlining the
whole history behind the canals of Mars and how an optical illusion led
Lowell to develop a whole scenario of an ancient civilization struggling to
survive on a nearly desiccated planet.
The second part of the lesson dealt with the "face of Cydonia" on Mars and
the numerous other faces that can be seen on the red planet (Happy Face,
Kermit the frog etc..). My students immediately made the connection between
this 20th century myth and the 19th Century myth of the Canals. How come a
bunch of grown ups can not do the same?
Alex Michael Bonnici.
Chris Johnson wrote:
> Oh, please. You're really reaching with this one. The first one was
> an optical illusion - trying to make this "second" one appear more
> likely by comparing it to something already refuted in an effort to
> appear more reputable is an insult to people's intelligence.
> So you've been visited from NASA domains - for all you know the
> secretaries and janitors have been visiting. Your "validity through
> association" games will not work here.
> How rude do we have to get to get this sort of crap off one of the few
> decent SETI forums? It's not just preying on people's gullability,
> it's OFF TOPIC.
> Simple guide: SETI is extra-solar. You want to talk about Roswell,
> join a UFO list. You want to talk about martian organisms, join an
> astrobiology list. You want to talk about faces on Mars and
> spaceships hovering around the sun, join one of the paranormal clubs
> on Yahoo. Please restrict the discussion on THIS list to SETI.
> If the members of this list thought that world goverments were
> covering up the arrival of aliens, do you think we'd be "wasting our
> time" by scanning the entire sky for radio (or optical) signals from
> outside the solar system!?!
> Chris J.
> ---The WebMaster <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > You wrote:
> > >The face disappeared with the recent HIGHER resolution imaging of
> > >Mars. There is no face on Mars except in people's imaginations.
> > You are clearly mistaken.
> > Please examine the object which we discovered at Cydonia:
> > Face II
> > http://www.bemyguest.com/mars/
> > http://www.bemyguest.com/mars/analysis_face2.html
> .-[ Kris_J ]=--=< http://come.to/cjweb >=--=[ Kris_Johnson@yahoo.com ]=.
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