The planet Mars, 1872-1881.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Colour print by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), one of a set of 15, made by him whilst in the United States between 1872 and 1881. The lithographs are based on the French artist's observations from various American observatories. Titled 'The Planet Mars', the print shows the appearance of the Red Planet on 3 September 1877. During that year, Mars was well paced for observation as it came especially close to the Earth, appearing as a bright red star in the night sky. This pastel drawing shows the prominent feature 'Solis Lacus' also known as the 'Eye of Mars'. Today, this dark area is known to be a plain and is named Solis Planum.