The planet Mars, 18-23 March 1854.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Aquatint print (monochrome) by W Forrest showing two views of the planet Mars from original drawings by Captain William Stephen Jacob (1813-1862). His sketches are base on his views of the planet seen on the 18 and 23 March 1854. For these observations Jacob used the 6 inch aperture telescope of the Madras Observatory made by Lerebours & Secretan of Paris. Jacob was director of the Indian Observatory from 1848-1862, a time during which he was re-equipped it extensively. Due to the southerly latitude of Madras, Mars was high in the sky and particularly well placed for detailed examination. By the end of the nineteenth century there was great speculation as to whether life existed on Mars.