Giovanni Schiaparelli was an Italian astronomer and senator of the Kingdom of Italy. He studied astronomy in Berlin beginning in 1854 under Johann F. Encke. Two years later he was appointed assistant observer at Pulkovo Observatory, Russia. In 1860 he returned to Italy as an observer at Brera Observatory in Milan. There he made controversial observations of Martian canali, or straight lines, that set off speculation about the possibility of intelligent life who had constructed them. He also discovered the asteroid Hesperia and correctly calculated the Perseid meteor showers.