Communicating with Martians: Early 20th century musings on our interplanetary neighbours

In 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed through his telescope long straight lines running across the equatorial regions of the Red Planet. He called these canali and they appeared to be confirmed later by Irish astronomer Charles. E. Burton who made some of the first drawings of these “canals”. Schiaparelli’s discovery caused a sensation. If there…