Science Art: An early map of the planet Mars, by Richard A. Proctor, 1867.

A map of Mars, by Richard Proctor, published posthumously in 1905

A map of the planet Mars by astronomer Richard A. Proctor. The names we use for features on Mars nowadays come from Giovanni Schiaparelli – like what we call “Syrtis Major Planum,” he called the “Kaiser Sea” (after an earlier astronomer). This map, he drew based on 27 drawings from William Rutter Dawes.

He was a serious scientist, but money troubles led him to write popular stuff, which he turned out to be good at. In his Wikipedia article (no doubt based on Encyclopedia Britannica): He wrote for a number of periodicals; and although he has stated that he would at this time willingly have turned to stone-breaking on the roads, or any other form of hard and honest but unscientific labour, if a modest competence had been offered him in any such direction, he attained a high degree of popularity, and his numerous works had a wide influence in familiarising the public with the main facts of astronomy.

So, kind of the Carl Sagan of the mid-19th century. In 1881, he actually founded a magazine called Knowledge, in which he wrote about stars, planets, chess and whist. Shortly after that, he moved from England to America, where he contracted yellow fever and died in 1888… and where his daughter, Mary Proctor, followed in his footsteps as an astronomer and popularizer of science. Proctor crater on the moon is named for her; Proctor crater on Mars, her father.

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