Mars perhaps first caught public interest in the late 1870s, when Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli reported using a telescope to observe canali, or channels, on Mars. By the turn of the century, popular songs told of sending messages between Earth and Mars by means of huge signal mirrors. On a darker side, H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds portrayed an invasion of Earth by technologically superior Martians desperate for water. (1) In the early 1900s novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, who is best known his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan, also entertained young readers with tales of adventures among the exotic inhabitants of Mars, which he called Barsoo. (2)
It was hoped that Mars had ample …show more content…
There is no general agreement, however, on what form water took on the early Mars. Two competing views are currently popular in the science community. According to one theory, Mars was once much warmer and wetter, with a thicker atmosphere. (9) According to the other theory, Mars was always cold, but water trapped as underground ice was periodically released when heating caused ice to melt and gush forth onto the surface.
In either case, the question of what happened to the water remains a mystery. Most scientists do not feel that Mars' climate change was necessarily caused by a cataclysmic event such as an asteroid impact that, perhaps, disturbed the planet's polar orientation or orbit. Many believe that the demise of flowing water on the surface could have resulted from gradual