Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/221

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163
DEVELOPMENT

ous as the season advanced. By August they had darkened very perceptibly. As yet, those in other parts of the planet were scarcely more visible than they had been two months before. Gradually, however, others became evident, farther and farther north, till by October all the canals bordering the north coast of the dark regions were recognizable; after which the latter, in their turn, proceeded to darken, —  a state of things which continued up to the close of observations. (Plates XXI. and XXII.)

The order in which the canals came out hinted that two factors were operative to the result, —  latitude and proximity to the dark regions. Other things equal, the most southern ones showed first; beginning with the Solis Lacus region, and continuing with those about the Sea of the Sirens and the Titan Gulf, and so northward down the disk. Other things were not, however, always equal in the way of topographical position. Notably was this the case with the areas to the west of the Syrtis Major, which developed canals earlier than their latitudes would warrant. Now, to the Syrtis Major descend from the pole the great straits spoken of before, which, although not in their entirety water, are probably lands fertilized by a thread of water running through them. They connect the polar sea with the Syrtis Major in a tolerably straight line.