- Paperback: 450 pages
- Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Printing edition (August 21, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761126066
- ISBN-13: 978-0761126065
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Traveler's Guide to Mars First Printing Edition
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A Traveler's Guide to Mars revitalizes the Red Planet, leaving readers with the urge to don a spacesuit and take a long trip. With the look and heft of a guide to someplace you might actually go, the book presents Mars as a place of canyons and volcanoes, mesas, and barren plains, not that dissimilar from parts of Earth. Author William K. Hartmann, who participated in the Mars Global Surveyor mission, uses all the photos and data collected by scientists in decades of research to give a thorough, yet not boring, overview of the planet. The most exciting stuff is about water--whether it ever flowed on Mars, where it went, why it's hard to find. Beyond that, there are the rocks, dust, and weather to talk about, and Mars has lots of all three. Sidebars, maps, and chronologies help keep the regions and geology of Mars organized. Hartmann never forgets he's writing for the lay reader, and his style is personable and clear. When answering claims of NASA cover-ups, ancient civilizations, and hidden structures on Mars, he calmly lays out the facts and pictures, urging readers to simply examine the evidence. Hartmann offers a tourist's-eye view of one of our most intriguing planetary neighbors and does more to polish NASA's tarnished image than a thousand press releases. --Therese Littleton
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A perfect choice for students who are interested in Mars or space exploration. Following an opening chapter discussing what humans have believed and have come to verify about the red planet, the author discusses the three major eras of its 4.5 billion year history. He describes various regions, offering a geological tour of the craters, volcanoes, and the face of Mars, making it easy for readers to "visit," much as any travel book would. Interspersed throughout are boxed inserts highlighting weather, hazards, financial considerations, geology, etc. Also appearing periodically are sections called "My Martian Chronicles" in which the astronomer describes his own work and experiences in his quest to learn more about this unusual planet. His writing style will make teens want to keep reading. Hundreds of outstanding photographs and digital images clarify concepts and sharpen subtle landscapes. Many are close-ups reproduced from the work of landing craft; most are in color. If you can have only one title about Mars, this is the one to buy.
Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
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Top Customer Reviews
There are great pictures and descriptions throughout the book. The reading is fast paced and the reader does not get bogged down with too technical phrases and ideas. Anyone with an interest in Mars will find this book fascinating.
My favorite parts was Olympic Mars the highest volcano on Mars because once I actually saw white clouds over the peak of the volcano with my 20 inch telescope.Of course I did not see the Volcano.
Professor Hartmann helped with the Mars Global surveyor mission. We see lots of pictures from this mission and pictures from Viking 1 and 2. The Soviet missions and the later US rover missions are discussed. Also there are great pictures of the Mars Society habitat for training of Mars exploration here on Earth. Also the importance of possible fossilized bacteria inside the Mars meteorite found in Antarctica is shown, as well as the radioactive dating procedures to find the age of various Mars material
Much of the book describes the various gullies, river formations, and lava flows. We see by crater counting whether the area in question is old old Mars( lots of craters, middle Mars (less craters), or new Mars <100 Million years. We see some lava flows that maybe less than 40 million years old and that Mars may not be totally volcanic dead. Lots of information about tracing where the water went under the surface of Mars and how sometimes that water made it to the surface.Also the loss of atmoshere and later cooling of the planet is discussed.
This book is highly recommended for anyone interested in Mars with great desciption of various Mars sites and great pictures too. 5 stars.
Quite by accident, I stumbled upon Hartmann's Traveler's Guide to Mars recently, a 2003 publication by one of the scientists who's been involved with Mars since Mariner 4 in 1965. At 468 pages in length, with nearly every page containing photographs, this book is a gem. I regard it as the best book on Mars over the last few years (which is saying a lot if you read my reviews last month).
Hartmann gives us forty short chapters, each devoted to a single feature or geographic region. Each chapter is between 2 and 10 or so pages in length. Lavish use of photos is the standard, usually a Viking mosaic for context and then a series of MOS or Odyssey Themis photos illustrating unusual geology, the search for water, etc. There are also many examples of the Global Surveyor's other primary instrument, the laser altimeter, which beautifully illustrates relative elevations of the features, and has added immeasurably to our understanding of the landforms studied. Hartmann also makes frequent use of Earth landscape photos that are close analogs to the Martian features he's showcasing. Hartmann's explanations of the features are clear and easy to understand. The writing is at a level that will be easy for novices to comprehend, but will not leave seasoned Marsophiles feeling talked-down-to.
Interspersed throughout are 15 sidebars, "My Martian Chronicles," in which Hartmann recounts some of his personal experiences as a member of the scientific teams which slowly untangled many of the mysteries he confronts in the text. These serve to make an already superb book even more enjoyable by bringing a very personal touch to the narrative. Hartmann is always careful to specify when he is touting his own pet theories, and when he is speaking of the consensus of the scientific community. He does a great job of illustrating how the scientific process actually works by telling the stories of the many geologists and planetary scientists who have contributed to our understanding of Mars over the years. He also hints where he thinks NASA's priorities ought to be with respect to human exploration of Mars: there are simply some questions which will remain open until there is a geologist with a rock hammer on the scene.
This is an excellent book in every way imaginable. First of all, it satisfied a longing I had had for several years. Second, it is written by a top flight scientist who also happens to be a gifted writer and communicator. Third, it is edited and presented in such a well-thought-out manner that it is simply a pleasure to read (and re-read and re-read). The only possible improvement I could suggest would be a second edition (updated of course with new findings) that uses the coffee-table format. When I think of the MOS and MOLA photos used in this book reproduced in large format 11x17 inches, with the accompanying text, I positively salivate with anticipation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The depth of knowledge in this book is truly amazing.
Very close to being there.
A wonderful read, with amazing photos, maps, and even paintings by Hartmann himself. One of Hartmann's paintings hints at possible Martian fossils.Read more