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Magnificent Mars Hardcover – Oct 21 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (Oct. 21 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743226011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743226011
  • Product Dimensions: 26.3 x 2.2 x 34.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,112,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Sir Arthur C. Clarke Our little neighbor Mars will be the first New World of the century that has just dawned. Ken Croswell has done a superb job in outlining what is known, and what is suspected, about the next home of mankind beyond the Moon.

Dr. Owen Gingerich Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Ken Croswell has done it again! By combining specially processed images of Mars with an elegant and informative text, he offers us a feast for the mind as well as the eyes.

Dr. Michael H. Carr U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, and author of The Surface of Mars and Water on Mars In Magnificent Mars, Ken Croswell has succeeded in producing a fitting tribute to our spectacular neighbor. It is an accurate, up-to-date, and highly readable account of how the planet with its huge volcanoes, deep canyons, and dry riverbeds might have formed and evolved, and whether some form of life might have gained a foothold there. The numerous large-format images, many culled from the latest spacecraft returns, make one gasp in wonderment and awe at this truly magnificent Mars.

Dr. Robert Zubrin author of The Case for Mars and president of the Mars Society At last, a work that synthesizes the latest discoveries on the red planet into an accessible yet accurate form. Magnificent Mars is a magnificent book.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson astrophysicist and director, Hayden Planetarium, New York City In Magnificent Mars, Ken Croswell explores the science, the culture, and the romance of the red planet. So thorough is Ken's treatment that, at times, I felt as though Mars had written its own autobiography.

Dr. Robert Jastrow director (retired) of the Mount Wilson Institute Ken Croswell's Magnificent Mars is visually exciting, beautifully written, and includes an excellent account of the greatest treasure hunt of all time -- the search for signs of Martian life.

Keay Davidson author of Carl Sagan: A Life At last, that rare hybrid: a visually striking and scientifically reliable popular book on Mars for those who quit trusting NASA's hype machine after the "Mars rock" fiasco. Although Magnificent Mars sparkles with entertaining history, it also offers an unusually balanced, fluff-free summary of research on, and debates about, the red planet. Taxpayers, legislators, and presidential candidates who seek straight talk on what we've found there -- or might find after spending billions of additional dollars -- couldn't get a trustier guide than Ken Croswell, one of the world's best astronomy writers.

Marina Benjamin author of Rocket Dreams Magnificent Mars is packed with interesting facts and statistics, yet Ken Croswell weaves the planet's physical credentials into a story of discovery so fluent and compelling that you forget you are reading a science book.

About the Author

Ken Croswell is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including Magnificent Universe and See the Stars: Your First Guide to the Night Sky. He earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and lives in Berkeley, California.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
I found Magnificent Mars to be the very best of the current books on this amazing and beautiful planet. It does two things remarkably well. First, it delights both the eye and the imagination with spectacular large-format photography. Secondly, author and astronomer Ken Croswell leads the reader with an eloquent and easy to read style through a clearly well-researched tour of the latest science about Mars - its fascinating history, and its importance in understanding our own planet Earth and the possible emergence of life elsewhere in the solar system.
What you notice first is the grand scale and beauty of this book. Measuring almost 11"x14", this coffee-table sized volume presents what must be about a hundred spectacular full-page color photographs, a variety of maps, and fascinating tables about the history and physical data of Mars. These images are stunning.
Being something of a photo buff myself, I was struck by the extremely high reproduction quality of the photos. These are the very best Mars images from HST, Viking, Mars Global Surveyor, Pathfinder and so on. But they seem even better. The author mentions that many were digitally reprocessed by Tony Hallas, an expert astrophotographer. The results are just astonishing, and a delight to the eye for sharpness and drama.
For weeks, this beautiful book sat on my coffee table in the living room. Invariably, I found even my non-astronomy friends and family amazed and delighted as they leafed through the dramatic images.
A word of caution - don't let the beautiful cover fool you into thinking this is just another coffee-table picture book. Far from it.
As a science teacher, I was deeply impressed with the hard science that Croswell presents in this book.
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By A Customer on March 27 2004
Format: Hardcover
In response to A reader from the corporation of - USA
I am LMAO right now. I cannot believe that someone who would buy this book would have those CRAZY conspiracy views! It sounds like a bad OJ Simpson movie from the 70s! So only the US of A is faking pictures from Mars? Why not the EU with their Beagle II or the Russians? Hmmmmmm Enough with the home schooling. Get out and experience and accept the real world of the 21st century.
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By A Customer on Jan. 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
The pics 'beamed-back'from MARS immediately reminded me of my recent trip to ICELAND which has the same exact landscape (glacerial subterranian volcanic), hence all the volcanic rocks all over the ground. Photoshop adds the red tint... and VOILA!
We are living in the land of Oz. Don't be mentally lazy; Look behind the curtain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Stunning - a delight to the eye & rich in real science Jan. 11 2004
By David W. Hudgins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I found Magnificent Mars to be the very best of the current books on this amazing and beautiful planet. It does two things remarkably well. First, it delights both the eye and the imagination with spectacular large-format photography. Secondly, author and astronomer Ken Croswell leads the reader with an eloquent and easy to read style through a clearly well-researched tour of the latest science about Mars - its fascinating history, and its importance in understanding our own planet Earth and the possible emergence of life elsewhere in the solar system.
What you notice first is the grand scale and beauty of this book. Measuring almost 11"x14", this coffee-table sized volume presents what must be about a hundred spectacular full-page color photographs, a variety of maps, and fascinating tables about the history and physical data of Mars. These images are stunning.
Being something of a photo buff myself, I was struck by the extremely high reproduction quality of the photos. These are the very best Mars images from HST, Viking, Mars Global Surveyor, Pathfinder and so on. But they seem even better. The author mentions that many were digitally reprocessed by Tony Hallas, an expert astrophotographer. The results are just astonishing, and a delight to the eye for sharpness and drama.
For weeks, this beautiful book sat on my coffee table in the living room. Invariably, I found even my non-astronomy friends and family amazed and delighted as they leafed through the dramatic images.
A word of caution - don't let the beautiful cover fool you into thinking this is just another coffee-table picture book. Far from it.
As a science teacher, I was deeply impressed with the hard science that Croswell presents in this book. He organizes the text around the themes of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Each section illustrates and describes the dramatically changing geology, atmosphere, volcanic landscape, and water in the life of Mars. Was Mars once lush with water and far warmer than today? Could life have sprouted there as it did on Earth?
Beautiful pictures aside, the "beautiful science" of the accompanying text is what really grabbed me. Croswell presents the careful research that reveals Mars as a complex and amazing planet with a dramatic history of change. His description of sweeping changes in the landscape and atmosphere of Mars during its three major phases (Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian) will be easily read and enjoyed by any scientifically curious person.
Magnificent Mars is beautiful, scientifically rich, and highly recommended!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Mars - magnificent book March 22 2007
By Neil Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wonderful tome is a journey to the red planet in itself. It answers all the question one might have about Mars and many other questions one wouldn't think to ask. This book has immediately become a treasured possession for which I have much affection. Wonderful for all ages too; children can enjoy the generous and colorful photographs and adults can enjoy the imaginative and beautifully articulated science that explains this distant and mysterious world. Buy this book!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
MAGNIFICENT MARS..Yes it is! Aug. 25 2010
By Stargazer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first became aware of Ken Croswell and his work, while attending a meeting of the Sonoma County Astonomical Society in Northern California. My opinion is that Ken is brilliant, and offers us amateur astronomers a glimpse into the details we don't see through our telescopes. This is a terrific work of research and dedication about our small neighboring planet MARS. Personally I found myself wandering over the martian surface through all the beautiful images in the book. Does life exist there?, I certainly hope so. But if it doesn't, maybe we will find the fossil remains one day!

This is a large book that may not fit most book shelves. However, it is worth every penny. Enjoy, I did. Now I think I just might go back to MARS!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb book! March 18 2010
By Charles L. Trammell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great for detailed descriptions of Mars' geology. In my opinion, this book is a treasure trove of information for those intrigued by astronomy and geology, especially planetary geology. The book clarifies complex geologic processes unique to the planet Mars. Yet, it still fuels the wonders of the imagination. This is an incredible reference book.
Marvelous pictures. Good midlevel writings June 11 2010
By Thomas Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Magnificent Mars is a very good book. Ken Croswell did a good job describing Mars. Mars through the centuries,P Lowell and his false canals et al. are shown. Mars is described in sections of its Earth.....regolith,crust, dust, Fire(hot mars evolution and volcanic activity) and Water on past Mars and the need for liquid water for life and Air... atmosphere of Mars. Also the moons of Mars are described.This is a huge tall/wide coffee table book... 209pages. What is marvelous in Magnificent Mars is the pictures. Many full page images that really throw the details of Mars into your eyes. 5 star plus on the images.

As an amateur astronomer of over 40 years I have many books on Mars. Even at Mars opposition ( its closest to earth) using my 20 inch telescope Mars is small and much of the detail can not be seen. Mainly I see the icecaps and some large areas of Mars. I strain and strain to catch Mars detail. Its not easy. Now in Magnificent Mars important features can be seen. Volcanoes, moons, valleys gullies, basins etc. Fascinating. Dr. Croswell does a good job describing Mars in a good mid level learning approach...not too technical and not dry. 4 star.

Here's some downers.I would of given Magnificent Mars 5 stars but I didn't like the white letters on black to read. I guess it was done to be more eloquent. For me its harder to read. Also some of the full page images of Mars although spectacular had no description. Description was on another page and you had to flip to image. It would of been nicer for 90% page image and a short description on the image page. Other than that a very good book.

Kids will love the marvelous pictures of Mars and Mom or Dad reading to them. My hero Sir Arthur C Clarke is quoted on the back dust jacket. He had high praise for Magnificent Mars and said Ken Croswell did a superb job.

Here's a suggestion. Buy Magnificent Mars used in good condition (like I did) for the absolute best Mars pictures and buy Real Mars 5 stars by Michael Hanlon another big coffee table book used in good condition( like I did ). These two books will complement each other. INMO Magnificent Mars pictures are unbeatable with good writing by Ken Croswell. Real Mars writing INMO was a little better and more detailed with more about the Mars probes Spirit, Opportunity and Mars Express. Both books have their strengths and complement each other. I do recommend Magnificent Mars 4 stars.


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