Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/166

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dark ones merge into each other. What was still more striking, the curious peninsulas which connect the continent with the chain of islands to the south of it, and form so singular a feature of the planet’s geography, were invisible. One continuous belt of blue-green stretched from the Syrtis Major to the Columns of Hercules.

For some time the dark areas continued largely unchanged in appearance; that is, during the earlier and most extensive melting of the snow-cap. After this their history became one long chronicle of fading out. Their lighter parts grew lighter, and their darker ones less dark. For, to start with, they were made up of many tints; various shades of blue-green interspersed with glints of orange-yellow. The gulfs and bays bordering the continental coast were the darkest of these markings; the long straits between the polar sea and the Syrtis Major were the next deepest in tone.

The first marked sign of change was the reappearance of Hesperia. Whereas in June it had been practically non-existent, by August it had become perfectly visible and in the place where it is usually depicted. in connection with its reappearance two points are to be noted: first, the amount of the change, for Hesperia is a stretch of land over two hundred miles broad by six hundred miles long; and,