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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Schiaparelli, Giovanni"

Schiaparelli, Giovanni Virginio [Astro*Index]


(1835- 1910) Italian astronomer. Born at Savigliano, Piedmont; died at Milan.

Along with John C. Adams, he investigated comets, establishing their connection with meteor swarms. He discovered the planetoid (asteroid) Hesperia, in 1861. He discovered the two small moons of Mars. From his studies of the features on Mars, he was convinced that the straight lines which he observed formed some kind of complex pattern. He called these lines canali, which means channels, but was mistranslated into canals in English; thus began the long controversy over whether these `channels' might represent artificial structures, a discussion which was supported by Flammarion and Percival Lowell. His excellent studies on the early history of astronomy, particularly that of Babylonia, have shed much light on this subject.

See also: ♦ Adams, John Couch ♦ Lowell Percival


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine