Historical Globes of the Red Planet


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Martian globe first published in 1884 by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion. The nomenclature is based on Flammarion’s adaptation of Proctor’s nomenclature (collection Museum Boerhaave)

During the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century the surface markings of the planet Mars were observed and discussed by numerous astronomers of whom the most famous were Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-1888), Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli (1835-1910), Nicolas Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), Jean Louis Nicolas Niesten (1844-1920), Eugène Michael Antoniadi (1870-1944) and Percival Lowell (1855-1916).

Although the early cartography of Mars has been discussed in several popular and scholarly papers, comparatively little has been written about the Martian globes that were commercially produced during this period. This web page attempts to present a survey of the various types of Martian globes that were produced before the advent of the Space Age.

As with all Mars maps published before the 1960s, the Martian globes have south on the top and north at the bottom as this is the common way in which the planet is viewed in astronomical telescopes from the northern hemisphere.

Known Types of Commercially-Produced Martian Globes

So far, I have found five different commercially-produced Martian globes mentioned in the literature:

The Martian Globes of Emmy Ingeborg Brun

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Martian globe made around 1915 by Emmy Ingeborg Brun (private collection)

Although only produced in a limited number, the hand-painted Martian globes of the Danish amateur astronomer Emmy Ingeborg Brun (1872-1929) deserve special mention for their beauty and detailed rendering of the supposed Martian canals.

Literature (chronological)

I am grateful to Alison Boyle, Guy Consolmagno, Philip Corneille, Wolfgang Dick, Christopher Herd, James Hyslop, Randy Liebermann, Jean-François Loude, Peter Louwman, Peter Meurer and Deborah Warner for providing additions and corrections.

I would like to learn of other types of Martian globes commercially produced before the Space Age and in which collections they are presently kept.

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[last updated in September 2021]

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