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Water on Mars and Life (Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics) Hardcover – November 18, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-3540206248 ISBN-10: 3540206248 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


From the reviews: "The result is perhaps the best overview of the subject currently available, making the book valuable for libraries supporting researchers in the field." (T. Barker (Wheaton College, MA), Choice April 2005, vol. 42, page 421) "The essays, most by European scientists, are well written and authoritative … . The list of abbreviations at the start of the book is helpful for nonspecialists, as are the large number of references … . editor’s thoughtful choice of topics leads to a logical flow of ideas from each essay to the next. The result is perhaps the best overview of the subject currently available, making the book valuable … . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals." (T. Barker, CHOICE, Vol. 42 (8), April, 2005) "The book presents a very interesting discussion, based on the data available from Earth or from the early probes and orbiters, of the likely presence of water on Mars. … It has been well edited to ensure a sufficient homogeneity in linguistic style and presentation. The book is also well illustrated with color graphs and color photographs. The virtual absence of mathematics makes the book easy to read for any person interested in the most mediatic planet." (Fernande Grandjean, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 28 (1), 2006) "This book is a series of 13 chapters, all by different authors … . There are almost 100 illustrations, maps and diagrams. Some of the authors appear to have been involved with a number of the instruments on the recent missions. The book is timely, for the with the current pace of Mars exploration and the recent arrival of Mars Reconnaissance Observer, keeping up to date with the latest outcomes and interpretations of data is a rising challenge." (Brian Harvey, Astronomy and Space, August, 2006)

From the Back Cover

Growing evidence, based on observations from orbiters, landers and telescopes, indicates that Mars may still have numerous hidden water reservoirs. Moreover, from the point of view of habitability, Mars is a prime target for astrobiologists in search of extant or extinct microbial life because we know that life exists in earth’s permafrost regions, such as parts of Siberia and the Antarctic, which are the closest terrestrial analogues to Mars. "Water on Mars and Life" surveys recent advances made in research into water on Mars together with its astrobiological implications. This volume addresses not only scientists working in the field but also nonspecialists and students in search of a high-level but accessible introduction to this exciting field of research.

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Product Details

  • Series: Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics
  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1 edition (November 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3540206248
  • ISBN-13: 978-3540206248
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,701,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on January 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In the past month, more and more of us have begun to believe that liquid water has indeed flowed on the Martian surface at least once or twice in the past decade.

Well, what does all this mean about the past and present reservoirs of water on Mars? Could it be that Mars once supported life? Could it do so now?

While the findings from the past couple of years are too recent to be included in this book, I think this volume does put many of these questions into proper perspective.

We start with the history of water on Mars. That includes what we think we're learning from meteorites (we'd probably know much more if we had some sample return data). It also covers questions of atmospheric evolution (which certainly pertain to the question of whether subsurface water-ice-reservoirs exist at present there), analogies between conditions from which early life probably arose on Earth and conditions on ancient Mars, and hydrated minerals on Mars.

Next is a section on water reservoirs on Mars at present. This includes a discussion of the global distribution of subsurface water as measured by Mars Odyssey, an article on polar caps, a paper on ground ice in the Martian regolith, and a paper by the editor about the water cycle in the atmosphere and shallow subsurface. The conclusion here is that the seemingly tiny amount of atmospheric water (only a trillion kilograms) is still enough to account for observed Martian gullies.

The final section is about aqueous environments and the implications for life. It starts by asking about the potential for evidence of life on Mars that might be preserved in sediments and mineral precipitations associated with polar lakes, streams and springs.
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