In search of aelita
"Most of the planets, undoubtedly, inhabited and uninhabited will be populated with the time" - Immanuel Kant wrote in his "Universal Natural History." It was not only his personal opinion - in the fact that the solar system planets are inhabited, in XVII-XVIII centuries believed a significant part of Christiaan Huygens scientific community, one of the founders of modern astronomy who lived in the second half of the XVII century, even painted an idyllic picture of life on Mercury , Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, which, in his opinion, ears fat fields, "warms the good warmth of the sun and irrigated fruitful dews and showers" Among these fertile fields wandering sentient beings - "maybe not exactly people like ourselves, but living beings or any other creatures endowed with reason. " In that way it is, no doubt Huygens - "If I am wrong in this, it is already and do not know when I can trust my mind, and I can only be satisfied with pitiful role of a judge in a true evaluation of things."
Particular attention Huygens drew Mars - the closest planet to Earth that looks a lot like our In 1659, observing Mars through a telescope, Huygens found that Mars, like Earth, makes a complete revolution around its axis in 24 hours He first noticed on the surface of Mars is constantly available "spot" Further observations showed that the Martian surface has a number of dark and light areas, which became known as the "desert" and "seas". The bright areas are reddish-orange and dark - gray, blue or green was supposed to present Martian sea, filled with water at the poles of Mars And you can clearly see the ice caps, like our Arctic and Antarctic.
With the improvement of optical Mars more and more intrigued astronomers. It turned out that the polar ice caps of Mars occur every year and retreat, and "sea" seasonally change their color. In the spring and summer of the "sea" looked blue-green, autumn and winter - brownish bold assumption that it does not the sea was made in 1860, but very real forest, but genuine "Martian boom" began after in 1877 the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli discovered that the Martian desert covered with a network of fine lines right, extending for hundreds of kilometers. Channels! That is - artificial structures created by intelligent beings ...
Schiaparelli's observations finally convinced many that Mars is inhabited by intelligent beings. One of the most vocal proponents of this version was an American astronomer Percival Lowell. Founded in 1894 an observatory for studying Mars, he dedicated the rest of his life observations of this planet. Having collected as a result of extensive research material, Lovell formulated the theory of life on Mars. He drew attention to the fact that the climate of Mars is very dry (with the exception of the polar regions) and virtually the only source of water on the planet are the polar caps, which are believed Lovell, composed of water ice Martian "sea" is likely anhydrous, as if in the Martian seas there was water, they reflect sunlight, which is not observed. Thus, the "effect occurs first meteorological conditions in the area of movement of water one pole, then, after ice melt, the concentration of the other pole, and such a pendulum motion is the only source of hydration of the planet". But in spite of such harsh conditions, vegetation, according to Lowell, on Mars - it proved an annual seasonal increase in the contrast of dark areas, which, like waves, spreading over the surface of the planet from one pole to another, within six months of the Martian. "Plant life manifests itself so obvious how this can be expected," - Lovell wrote. But life is impossible without water - hence the need for the creation of a vast irrigation system Martians. And the system ( "channels") can be readily observed through the telescope ...
"Based on the results of the observations I have come to the conclusion that 1) the general habitability of the planet, and 2) the real existence there are now some form of intelligent life" - making the conclusion of Lovell.
Actively promoting their views in his book - "Mars", "Mars and its canals", "Mars as an abode of life" and others - Lovell
He wrote about the drama of the Martian people struggling to survive on the dried and dying planet It is thanks to Lovell image of the "Martians" stepped from the pages of scientific journals in the mass consciousness, creating a "Aelita" Alexei Tolstoy's "War of the Worlds" Wells and hundreds of other novels, films and performances on the Martian theme
Lowell died in 1916, but his theory throughout the first half of XX century stirs the imagination of mankind And then
Then Lowell theory under the facts of new data became melt both polar caps of Mars Mars Exploration undertaken by the spacecraft "Mars" series, the "Mariner" and "Viking", showed that
- Polar glaciers are not made of water, but of frozen carbon dioxide,
- Bright areas of Mars - are relatively flat areas pounds, covered with a continuous layer of dust, and dark areas - areas covered with lots of craters,
- "Channels" actually are randomly distributed chains of small craters,
- Seasonal changes in surface colors are associated with dust storms raging on the planet's surface,
- The whole of Mars is more like the moon than on Earth. And, of course, no trace of the Martians. Goodbye, Aelita. But spacecraft discovered and photographed on the planet's surface are numerous beds of dried-up rivers These beds are not visible from Earth and have nothing to do with the notorious "channels" means that the water was yes, was in 1976 the existence in the atmosphere of Mars water vapor was finally confirmed at the same time was established the existence of water ice in the northern polar region of Mars is obvious that large quantities of water are stored around the polar regions under the surface of the planet in the form of permafrost
But where is the water - there is life there if she, or it was, but the search continues and is still absolutely true is the historic phrase uttered in 1957 the famous character of "Is there life on Mars, if there is life on Mars - it's science unknown "