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Percival Lowell Percival Lowell was born in Boston Massachusetts on the 13th of March in 1855 to a distinguished wealthy well-educated New England family His brother Abbott became the President of Harvard University and his sister Amy became a Pulitzer Prize winning poet and critic Lowell himself earned a BA degree at Harvard with a concentration in mathematics From his graduation until 1893 he was a businessman a counselor and was foreign secretary to the Korean Special Mission to the United States This was the first diplomatic group between Korea and any western power During this time Percival wrote several books about East Asia and his experiences there In the Early 1890s Lowell became interested in astronomy and in 1893 he took up observational astronomy after learning that Schaparelli was losing his eyesight and would not be able to continue his work Schaparelli was the original discoverer of the Martian canali which is channels or canals on the surface of Mars In 1894 Lowell used his personal fortune to build and operate the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff Arizona whose principal goal was to study the solar system and Mars in particular At an altitude of 7200 feet atop Mars Hill Percival studied Mars through a 24-inch Clark Telescope for 15 years and made numerous intricate drawings of the surface of Mars He theorized that Mars was inhabited with intelligent life and that the straight lines visible on Mars surface were was to channel water from the polar caps to the rest of the planet The visibility of these canals was inconsistent He theorized that when water was running through the channels the vegetation along its banks was thicker and more visible He believed that these canals could have only been built by intelligent beings as a means of providing water across the planet Space probes later determined that no intelligent life was on Mars His greatest contribution to astronomy came toward the
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