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An undisputed expert tells the full story of the "red planet", from age-old myths to the facts gleaned by modern spacecraft. This well-illustrated, fascinating account covers Mars's place in the solar system, geological formations, atmosphere, and weather. Most important of all: Does life exist there? Find out what the latest evidence suggests.
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Night falls over the equator and Phoebus rises from the west. It takes only 4 1/4 hours for this nearest moon to cross the sky--more than enough time for it to wax from new to full.
This is the enduring charm of Mars: the more you learn about it, the stranger it seems. Moore's sober, commonsense tale of discovery cannot help but be as much about the garish Mars of the imagination as it is about the physical planet--and the changes wrought upon that imaginary twin have been truly cataclysmic. Lowell's charming canals lie shattered beneath the gargantuan volcanic sierras of Olympus, Ascraeus, and Pavonis. The frozen carbon dioxide and thin hoarfrost of Mars's meager poles have vanished beneath huge quantities of water ice, bringing with it the nagging possibility of subterranean oceans and, every few tens of millions of years, an intermittent period of fertility.
Moore is better placed than most to give earlier observations and imaginations their due. When he wrote Guide to Mars in 1955, it was commonly believed that the dark areas of the planet's surface were due to vegetation. And, given all the advances in our understanding in the mere 40 years since, it seems perfectly natural for Moore to conclude his account by writing seriously about the likely shape of future colonies there.
A home astronomer's guide, a memoir, a history that ably demonstrates the interplay between scientific data and interpretation--however you read it, Patrick Moore on Mars is more poetic and inspiring than it knows. --Simon Ings, Amazon.co.ukAbout the Author:
Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS, Britain's best known astronomer, has over 50 years attracted and held a vast audience through his books and television appearances. He has presented every edition of The Sky at Night since it was first broadcast in April 1957, a world record for television, and to universal acclaim won a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to television at the 2001 BAFTA Awards, presented to him by the astronaut Buzz Aldrin. He is a Fellow and Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society, was awarded the CBE in 1988 and his knighthood in 2000. An enthusiastic communicator, he has done more to popularise the study of astronomy than any other writer of his or subsequent generations.
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