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Magnificent Mars Hardcover – November 5, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (November 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743226011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743226011
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 0.9 x 13.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,376,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From the Inside Flap

Advance Praise for MAGNIFICENT MARS by Ken Croswell

"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." —Sir Arthur C. Clarke

"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. Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

"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 river beds 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. Michael H. Carr, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, and author of THE SURFACE OF MARS and WATER ON MARS

"A splendid survey of what we know about Mars, valuable both to the beginning and to the expert. It is skillfully written and beautifully illustrated. Recommended without hesitation!" —Sir Patrick Moore, host of the BBC’s "The Sky at Night"

"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. Robert Zubrin, author of THE CASE FOR MARS and President of the Mars Society

"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." —Dr. Robert Jastrow, director (retired) of the Mount Wilson Institute

"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." —Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Director, Hayden Planetarium, New York City

"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." —Keay Davidson, author of CARL SAGAN: A LIFE


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Buy this book for yourself and for your children.
Vinnie
I found Magnificent Mars to be the very best of the current books on this amazing and beautiful planet.
David W. Hudgins
This is a huge tall/wide coffee table book... 209pages.
Thomas Erickson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David W. Hudgins on January 11, 2004
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neil Smith on March 22, 2007
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!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stargazer on August 25, 2010
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!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Trammell on March 18, 2010
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.
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