Science: Farewell to Martians

With whimsical and bogus tenderness, U. S. newspapers last week kissed their old favorite, the Man from Mars, goodby. Reason: Walter Sydney Adams, astute director of Mt. Wilson Observatory in California, said he had observed the Martian atmosphere for water-vapor content, found none or almost none—in any case (allowing for instrumental error) not more than 5% of the moisture in earth's air. In such dryness it seemed most unlikely that active animals could exist. In making his observations, Dr. Adams used "the most delicate spectroscope yet known."

A spectroscope splits light into patterns in...

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