French astronomer who demolished the theory of canals on Mars. He became
an expert also on the scientific achievements of ancient civilizations.
Antoniadi was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul). He began to make
astronomical observations 1888, and in 1893 went to France to utilize
better telescopes, first at the observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge and then
at Meudon. Detecting an apparent spot on the surface of Mars, he soon
realized that it was merely an optical effect caused by the diffraction
of light by the Earth's atmosphere.
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