Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/248

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184
MARS

the Cyane Fons in lat. 28° N. In August of last year, the first of these markings was very conspicuous, the second but moderately so, while the third was barely discernible. By November, the Phoenix Lake had become less salient, Ceraunius relatively more so, and the Cyane Fons nearly as evident as Ceraunius had formerly been. In the Martian calendar, the August observation corresponded to our 20th of June, the November one to our 1st of August. All three spots were practically within the equatorial regions. Now, on the Earth, no such marked progression in seasonal change occurs within the tropics. With us, it is to all intents and purposes equally green there the year through. On Mars it is not. Clearly, some more definite factor than the seasons enters into the matter upon our neighbor world.

That this factor is water seems, from the behavior of the blue-green areas generally, to be pretty certain. But just as the so-called seas are undoubtedly not seas, nor the canals water-ways, so the spots are not lakes. Their mode of growth, so far as it may be discerned, confirms this conclusion. Apparently, it is not so much by an increase in size as by a deepening in tint that they gradually become recognizable. They start, it would seem, as big as they are to be, but faint in tone, premonitory shades of their future selves. They then proceed to