A Traveler's Guide to Mars: The Mysterious Landscapes of the Red Planet

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Workman Publishing, Jan 1, 2003 - Science - 468 pages
In this extraordinary Baedeker—accessible, up-to-date, and prodigiously illustrated with photographs from Mariner 9, Viking, Pathfinder, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the ongoing mars Global Surveyor spacecraft—visitors will encounter:
  • Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system, rising three times as high as Mount Everest and covering an area the size of Missouri
  • Tharsis Planitia, the "high plains of Mars," with plains rising 29,000 feet—wide enough to cover Europe.
  • Valles Marineris, an equatorial canyon so vast that America's Grand Canyon would be a mere tributary.

Plus: the "face" on Mars, the White Rock, the "Canals" of Xanthe—and the first possible evidence of an ancient Martian life-form.
 

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User Review  - RaskFamilyLibrary - LibraryThing

This is an excellent, well written, beautifully illustrated, and informative book. The author does a great job of explaining the data available at the time of publication from Mars orbiters, surface probes and rovers. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - CliffBurns - LibraryThing

Fun reading for space nuts, people who still dream of seeing a human footprint on Mars in their life time. This is like one of those Frommer's guides, an overview of all the Martian hot spots ... Read full review

Contents

The History of a Mystery
3
Terra Tyrrhena The Secret of the Winds
36
Part 1 Hitching a Ride on Mariner 9
42
The Canals of Xanthe
44
Syrtis Major The Mystery of Martian Soil
50
Enearthing MarsLike Rocks in Tucson
60
Hellas Basin A Giant Impact Scar A giant Impact Scar
69
Discovering Lunar Basins Fending Off Academic Feuds
80
Nanedi Vallis Climate Change on Another World
242
Nirgal Vallis Sands in the Tracks
250
Martian Meteorites Ground Truth at Last
257
Amazonis and Elysium Yesterdays Lava Eruptions
273
Amazonis and Elysium Yesterdays Lava Eruptions
275
Of Time and Progress
278
Tharsis Land of Spectacular Volcanoes
287
Olmpus Mons Largest Volcano in the Solar System
299

Land of Ancient Violence
83
Craters and the Depth to the Ice
91
Hit Rates Crater Counts and International Collaboration
96
Noachis and the Southern Highlands The Mystery of Softened Terrain
102
Whats That?
118
Crater Bakhuysen Visiting Valley Networks
122
A Great Waterway?
127
Vastitas Borealis The Secret of an Ancient Ocean?
135
Terra Meridiani Hermatite Deposit Number One
146
The Sediments of Crater Crommelin
158
White Rock An Enigma Explained
163
Heartbreak in Hellespontus The Lost Site of the First Lander
171
Sorrow in Sirenum The Second Lander
176
FacetoFace with the Race to Space
178
Chryse Planitia The First Successful Landing
182
GraveltoGravel Coverage of the First Mars Landing
192
Ancient Fires of Hesperia
199
Utopia Planitia Viking 2 in the Northern Plains
207
Yesterdays News
214
Martian Mountains A Bit of Continental Drift?
217
Ares Vallis A Riverbed on Arid Mars
219
Aram Chaos Melting the Ground Ice
233
Water Release
240
The View from Orbit
310
Valles Marineris The Grandest Canyon of Them All
314
Cerberus Fossae An Incipient Valles Marineris?
322
Marte Vallis Recent Floodwaters?
329
Cydonia and the Face on Mars
336
Promethei Terra Mysteries of Melting Mountains
344
Hillside Gullies The Wet Planet Mars
353
Martian Gullies in iceland
366
Inca City
368
A Cluster of Craters
373
Crater Clusters Computers and Cafe
378
Land of Dust Devils
382
The Most Majestic Dune Field
388
Polar Caps A Tale of Two Ices
395
WHERE DO WE COME FROM WHERE ARE WE GOING?
409
Questions That Lead to the Future
411
Working with The Real Martian Chronicler
428
My Friend From Mars
437
Glossary
441
Selected Sources and Additional Reading About Mars
446
Index
449
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A FIRST LOOK AT THE MARTIAN ENVIRONMENT

Mars is half the size of Earth but has roughly the same land area. Early science fiction portrayed Mars as totally alien and unfamiliar, but some aspects of the Martian surface would seem surprisingly recognizable to a human visitor. The Martian day is a bit longer than 24 hours--almost the same as Earth's. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The land is a cold but beautiful desert of sand, gravel, rocks, lava, dunes, and strata. Seasonss of spring, summer, fall, and winter follow each other as on Earth, except that they add up to a year that is about twice as long as that on Earth, consisting on 669 Martian days.

WHAT TO WEAR: A LOOK AT MARTIAN WEATHER

On Mars, typical daily air temperatures range from about -87 degrees C (-125 degrees F) at night to a "balmy" -25 degrees C (-13 degrees F) in the afternoon. The soil and rocks absorb sunlight and become much warmer than the air; summer afternoon soil temperatures can rise to 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) or higher. However, soils in the morning and evening, as well as soils just below the surface, are usually much colder, with temperatures of -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F).

The atmosphere of Mars is very thin, almost pure carbon dioxide, with an air pressure typically just less than 1 percent of that on Earth's surface. This is still much less than the pressure of the thin air at 35,000 feet, where commercial jets cruise; it is more similar to the pressure encountered by a high-flying spy jet, 110,000 feet above Earth.

To wander among the dusty hills of Mars, you'd need a space suit similar to that worn by Apollo astronauts on the Moon. Because the soil and rocks of Mars can be much colder than those on the daylit Moon, on which Apollo astronauts landed, Martian visitors would need boots and gloves that are especially insulated.

A particular hazard facing the space-suited explorer is dust. Apollo astronauts had problems with the fine lunar dust; on Mars, this could be worse because occasional strong winds can blow the dust into suit joints, oxygen regulators, and vehicle parts. Local dust storms may strongly reduce visibility and cause blinding "brownout" conditionslike arctic whiteouts, during which visibility drops to a yard or two, destroying all sense of direction.

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