Map of Mars “Transformation”

Humans’ understanding of Mars has never been linear. Let’s take the “map of Mars” as a clue, and trace how humanunderstanding of Mars is moving away from the fog, from shallow to deep, and how Mars has evolved from a bright spot in the night sky to a red neighbor star as we now know it, a bumpy, ups and downs that also paints a grand picture of our future journey to the universe.

The Martian landscape is first revealed.

From the timeline, the history of the map of Mars is interesting, and the major discoveries about Mars always seem to occur in the closest years to Earth and Mars, with the arrival of “Mars Day.”

Although Mars and Earth are close every two years, each time the distance between the two is different, the closest day is called “big rush”, on average 15 or 17 years only occur, when the Earth’s astronomers will point their telescopes to Mars, looking forward to major discoveries.


The 17th-century starry sky, free from the control of medieval thetheological power, science was able to gallop. The first human sketch of Mars was born in 1636 during the Mars Day.

第一幅火星素描,意大利律师兼业余天文学家方塔纳绘制了火星相位变化,弗朗西斯科·方塔纳绘于1636年(左)、1638年(右),白色圆面代表火星,中心的“黑色小药丸”是望远镜缺陷引起的暗斑。/ Francesco Fontana


The first identified Martian feature was discovered in 1659, because it resembled an hourglass, and its discoverer, Huygens, was known as the “Sea of Hourglass”, a black basalt region more than 1,300 kilometers in diameter, now known as the Great Certes Plateau.

1659年,荷兰天文学家惠更斯绘制的火星“沙漏海”(今名“大瑟提斯高原”)。/ Huygens

Just as the first aliens to discover in their search for planets in the solar system must have been Jupiter or Saturn, the first thing humans see when they spy on Mars must be the most obvious “sea of hourglass” (Great Certes). Is it the ocean? Land? Clouds? Or vegetation? Humans know nothing about this, and this will continue for more than a hundred years.


The Great Martian Surge of 1672 saw the “sea carriageman” dominate the world, and the Dutch astronomer Huygens was also a leader of the era, following the “sea of hourglass”, he discovered the white crown of Mars. In the same year, French astronomer Cassini measured the distance from Mars to Earth, combining Kepler’s third law, and humans finally knew how big their solar system was.

1672年火星大冲惠更斯的火星手绘,除了“沙漏海”,还看到了火星极冠(靠上的圈)。/ Huygens

The first generation of telescope-using Mars observers also encountered the first technical bottleneck: color aberration. Limited by this technological flaw, astronomers’ portrayal of the surface of Mars is limited to the characteristics of the largest block of the Martian surface. In order to overcome this problem, a large number of long focal length “suspension” telescopes were born. But with the death of Huygens in 1695, the “suspension” telescope was sealed with cumbersome operations. Then mars research entered the “long night” of nearly a century.



The 15-year-old Mars expedition saw the “Empire of The Sun” colonize the world; The refractive telescope, which is relatively deep in the “color aberration” and has much to offer when it comes to Herschel through Hadley’s improved reflective telescope.

Herschel used a homemade reflective “cannon” to accurately measure the size, rotation period and rotation almost of Mars, confirmthe the presence of atmosphere and clouds on Mars, and speculate that there are seasonal changes on Mars, and he speculated that the Martian polar crown is made up of ice and snow, each characterized like Earth.


Unlike Herschel, who believes that bright and dark patches on Mars are surface features, Schroeder, another prominent observer, voted against him, arguing that the hazy spots were clouds on Mars, not the surface.


By the end of the 18th century, human research on the Martian ontome had begun to bear fruit, although is the “sea of hourglass” a surface feature or a cloud? Is the features on Mars permanent? Such problems still plague astronomers, and no one has ever mapped Mars in the true sense, just as no one would map the clouds… But Mars is still the most Earth-like planet in the solar system.

You’re not wrong, this view that we know today has been a consensus since the 18th century!


The Industrial Revolution brought about a technological explosion, the advent of refractive telescopes that eliminated color differences, imaging mirrors far ahead of mirrors, and astronomy has since entered the “refraction era”. German astronomers Bell and Medler used the telescope to examine and contrast the bright spots as permanent surfaces on Mars, not clouds. In 1840, they published the first real map of Mars with longitude and latitude, and named the Martian landscape in letters.


Bell and Medler used a small dot south of the Martian equator to determine the Martian center meritorline, which marked them on their map of Mars as “a” because they were small and round, which the duo jokingly called “little pudding.” “Pudding” is small, but as authoritative as the equator, the Mars divided into two. 163 years later, the Mars Marathon king, Opportunity, landed here, but by then the area had long since been renamed the Meridian Plain.


When the Martian sun bursts in 1858, there was a consensus that the “Mars polar crown is made up of glaciers”, so it was inevitable that the glaciers would melt and form an ocean. Sic, an Italian astronomer, gave the Hourglass Sea a new name, the Atlantic Canale, imagining the ocean that separates the old and new continents on Mars. It was the first time the word “canale” (Italian “river”) had appeared on Mars, and Sic must have wondered if it was the word that was about to lead the map of Mars astray.



Thanks to the increased resolution of the telescope, a more subtle structure on the surface of Mars is gradually emerging. On a map of Mars published by the British astronomer Proctor in 1864, the “little pudding” of that year had “developed” the fjord spear of the ingredient (dawes Forked Bay in the center of the map), and he used a human name to name the landscape, a big step forward from the alphabet, but he used mainly the names of British scientists, a practice that astronomers from other European countries did not buy.


The era of the “canal” of Mars.

At the end of the 19th century, the brightest Mars rush was coming.

At this time in Europe, the telescope’s magnification is nearing its limit, and after color difference and diffraction, the ultimate bottleneck affecting Observations on Mars has emerged – atmospheric atanonining. It makes the starlight flicker, can not stabilize the image, far beyond the human control! For Mars observers who do not yet have space telescopes, more details can only be done on their own… The emergence of mars oolong also seems to make sense.


In 1877, two important maps of Mars came out, one from Schiaparelli, Italy, and the other from Nathaniel Green of Britain. The former is a professional astronomer who discovered that the August perpetual Perseid meteor shower originated from the Swift-Tuttle comet, and the latter is a master of Cobain who painted portraits of Queen Victoria.


Schiaparelli, who first accurately depicts 62 reference points on Mars using a micrometer and then completes the rest, claims to have seen the “canali” on Mars and named it after the Martian landscape in classical literature and the Bible. Nathaniel Green’s map is more artistic, and the title of the terrain follows the “exclusive ness of British scientists” by his English colleague Proctor.

The map of Mars by Schiaparelli was quickly accepted by the public by naming the Martian landscape after it was popular (for example, by naming the Hourglass Sea “The Great Certes”). The news that he had discovered the “river” of Mars was also widely shared. If you were a European astronomer at the end of the 19th century, you would have to claim to have seen a few “river channels” or be looked down upon by your peers – like “the emperor’s new clothes” – and only geniuses and fools would have questioned the “major discovery” of the then-head of Milan’s Brera Observatory.


Perhaps you’ve read a classic science book called Popular Astronomy, written by Flamalion, who lived in the age of Schiaparelli. In 1884, Foon also drew his own map of Mars, and printed and published his other popular book, Planet Mars, in which he claimed to have seen what he saw as the “river” of old age, and believed that intelligent life on Mars had the ability to transform primitive rivers into a global circulation system.

1884年法国天文学家弗拉马利翁出版的火星地图,当年的“小布丁(a)”被命名为“子午线湾(Sinus Meridiani)”,当代命名沿用了这个叫法,称作“子午线平原(Terra Meridiani)”。


Imagination is not always a good thing, and the Italian “canali” drifting across the sea to the United States has become the English “canals”, a no doubt a hint in the context of the Suez Canal’s navigable times that there are people on Mars repairing canals!


A writer of origin, Rowell, who is in the textile business in Asia, was coincidentally inspired by Foon’s work. Since then, the Martian “canal” from Europe has contracted all of Lowell’s interest for the rest of his life. “At the beginning of the 20th century, Mars was inhabited by a group of water engineers busy with the transfer of water from the north and south of the country”, the Mars canal frenzy in the “godfather” under the spread of Lowell to the peak, the literary, artistic, music, business have also poured into this frenzy, Mars has “people” has become the consensus of the whole earth.

Lowell died in 1916, along with him, and the entire Martian “civilization”.

The First World War briefly interrupted human research on Mars and restored calm and re-examined the red neighbor. The use of new equipment such as cameras, spectrometers and radios has vaporized evidence of “humans” on Mars, which has gradually become less Earth-like.

Map of modern Mars.


In 1929, Antony Yadi, an apprentice who had worked under Foon, had gone down the hill to build his own portal, summed up the achievements of The Three Hundred Years since the telescope was invented, published the finest map of Mars at the time, and unified the name of the Martian landscape, which was eventually adopted to this day.



In 1962, on the eve of the New Age, the U.S. Air Force drew an advance map of Mars for the Mariner 4 mission, the last hand-drawn map of Mars before humans entered the space age. Perhaps because of the imminent sighting of Mars from a “positive perspective”, after more than 300 years of evolution, the map of Mars has finally become upper and lower north, as we often see today.


In 1965, Mariner 4 sent back 21 close-up photos of Mars. The higher the expectation, the greater the disappointment, the more human 300 years of waiting finally only in exchange for strange stone. Without the Martians, without canals, and without vegetation, it looks only a thin layer of atmosphere than the moon.


The space race was in full swing, with Mariner 9, the first man-made satellite orbiting Mars, entering orbit in 1972. The following year, NASA, in conjunction with National Geographic, published the first map of Mars based on spacecraft data. On the back of the map is a picture of a Martian dust storm, inspired by The Mariner 9, which just arrived on Mars and caught up with the largest dust storm ever recorded on the surface of Mars.



After the end of the Cold War, Mars exploration also reached a nadir, two decades of no one to ask. It wasn’t until the end of the twentieth century that humans returned to Mars, and in 2001 NASA again worked with National Geographic to publish the first map of Mars in the new century. Every corner is really shot by the detector, the past “little pudding”, “the hourglass sea”, “sun lake” the real face of the world finally white. On the back of the map is a more detailed map of Mars that astronomers of the telescope observation period would have dared to imagine.



In the internet age of information explosions, the news of the discovery of liquid water on the surface of Mars in 2015 burst into a circle of friends. In 2016, National Geographic republished a map of Mars that not only shows landing sites for previous Mars landing missions, but also lists a number of potential future landing sites for probes and even astronauts. The blueprint for the Mars base on the back of the map is a far-future sensation, and contemporary humans are content not only with learning about Mars, but about where to live.



At 5:58 a.m. Beijing time today, the UAE’s first Mars rover, Hope, was launched from Japan’s Seed Island Space Center on a Japanese H-IIA carrier rocket and will reach orbit around Mars in early 2021. This is the UAE’s first Mars exploration mission and marks the beginning of a new Mars exploration cycle.


China’s “Sky Question 1” Mars rover was launched in the United States, and the U.S. “Persistence” rover is also scheduled to launch in mid-August. Life is more than that, and humans are on their way to and about to embark on the land depicted in the map of Mars.

The next era will belong to the self-improvement of us, I wish us a smooth voyage.

Mars, not scattered.