Solis Lacus

Summary

Coordinates: 26°S 85°W / 26°S 85°W / -26; -85

Solis Lacus feature on Mars. Screenshot from Celestia

Solis Lacus /ˈsɒlɪs ˈlkəs/ (26°S 85°W / 26°S 85°W / -26; -85) is a dark feature on Mars. It was once called "Oculus" and is still commonly called "The Eye of Mars" because with the surrounding light area called Thaumasia it resembles the pupil of one. Solis Lacus is known for the variability of its appearance, changing its size and shape when dust storms occur.

Percival Lowell believed that it was the planetary capital of Mars due to the number of canals he claimed intersected at the region.

In Science fiction

In The Lost Worlds of 2001, Arthur C. Clarke had it as the landing site of the first robotic probe to Mars. In Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, the manned exploratory vessel Envoy lands just south of Solis Lacus. In Larry Niven's Known Space universe, Solis Lacus was the site of an early human base which was destroyed by the native Martians, and later featured in his novel, Protector.

References

  • Beish, Jeffrey D. "Chapter 4 -- SURFACE FEATURES OF MARS". Observing the Planet Mars. Retrieved 2006-10-22.[permanent dead link]