1st Edition. TWO IMPORTANT OFFPRINTS ON MARS bound in a volume, a Sammmelband from the library of Charles Darwin’s son, George Darwin. Darwin bound together 11 other offprints and pamphlets, all related to astronomy and mathematics. The most important offprint is by Schiaparelli; in it, he famously refers not to “canals” (as it would later be mis-translated), but to “canali,” by which he meant geographic straits. The consequences of this error played out for decades. His paper includes the colored foldout map, “Mappa Aerographica.”
Also included in Darwin’s collection is an offprint by Asaph Hall which was published one year after the 1877 work in which he announced his discovery of the two moons of Mars (a work we offer separately). In the “masterly” work included here, Hall used his mathematical gifts to successfully predict the orbits of his newly discovered Martian moons (JBAA, 70, 1960). Hall’s paper also provides the first detailed descriptions of the two moons.
SCHIAPARELLI: Giovanni Schiaparelli was an Italian astronomer who worked at Brera Observatory in Milan for more than thirty years. In 1875, the observatory acquired a Merz refractor that allowed him to begin his study of Mars” (Sheehan, Two Weeks on Mars, 3).
During the 1877 opposition when Mars was particularly close to earth, Schiaparelli carried out extensive observations that would form the basis of the 1st detailed map of Mars. He employed “the tools of the surveyor and micrometrically determined 62 points on the Martian surface. From these positions and a series of delicately nuanced drawings he plotted a map” (ibid).
“Schiaparelli created a new way of looking at Mars. His observations were first published in a series of articles in the Atti della Reale in 1877, with a summary of the findings published in the form presented here for the Memorie della Società degli Spettroscopisti Italiani. Here, as in the 1st published form, Schiaparelli famously uses the term “canali” to refer to features that, to him, looked like geographical straits. "Canali" was translated to English as "canals", thereby suggesting artificial waterways instead of naturally occurring features. The mis-translation sparked speculation and debate about a hypothetical Martian civilization that would play out for decades.
This paper includes a color fold-out plate "Mappa Aerographica.” It is the predecessor to another famous map of the same name that Schiaparelli would publish later in 1877.
HALL: Asaph Hall was an American astronomer and mathematician. Using Mars perihelic opposition to advantage, Hall searched far closer to the planet than had others. His “remarkable discovery [that of the two moons] traveled so close to Mars that they were within the glare of the planet…took both the public and the astronomical world by storm” (Goshen, Under the Moons , NASA).
Later in 1877, Hall employed his prodigious mathematical skill and was able to use the data gathered for the first paper to further advantage. Writing of the offprint offered here, the Journal of the British Astronomical Association wrote: “This masterly piece of work contains not only the first set of tables [predicting the] motion of the satellites [but also] an account of their discovery (JBAA).
In other words, this paper includes not only the first detailed description of the two Martian satellites, but also, Hall’s predictions of the orbits of those moons – the latter of which appeared remarkably near their predicted positions. Hall’s predictions about the 1879 satellites of Mars were likewise very close to those he had predicted. Hall’s discoveries brought him international recognition and awards. Item #1590
CONDITION: 4to. Darwin’s collection (13 papers in total) is in a plain tightly bound volume. His signature is on the ffl and some of the papers are inscribed to him and signed by the author. The volume is housed in a custom Solander box with a photo of Mars on the front (see photos).