If you always thought that it was Giovanni Schiaparelli who first coined the phrase 'Canali' pertaining to the straight lines he appeared to observe on Mars youd be wrong. In 1858 an astronomer working at the Vatican observatory named father Pietro Angelo Secchi took it upon himself to create his own drawings of Mars. The red planet was now nearing a close approach to earth and the powerful Vatican telescope was capable of resolving detail previously invisible to most astronomers. Secchi thought he saw a series of straight lines on the Martian surface so he made an innocuous notation in his notes.
His sketches and articles were published in 1859 in which he referred several times to 'Canale Atlantico' or 'Canale Ceruleo'. His regrettable choice of words would not have an impact for another eight years. Mars tells not only of people and places that have influenced mankinds relationship with the enigmatic red planet, but it also shows you the colour drawings that Secchi made, which were provided to us directly by the Vatican itself. Along with many other interesting stories, drawings and photographs Mars will be a prize for both the novice or ardent student of Mars.