The planet Mars has been a subject of wonder for millennia, as attested by its place in mythology, by later speculation about its canals, and by the scientific and public excitement over the Viking mission. Although the scientific literature about the planet is voluminous, no comprehensive treatment of the results of modern spacecraft exploration has yet been made available. This volume fills that gap by providing a summary of what is presently known about Mars and identifying many puzzles such as polar cap variance, occurrence of dust storms, and the possible location of water. The introductory chapter cites questions, controversies, and milestones in the study of Mars, and also includes an annotated book list, basic data about the planet, and a guide to Martian seasons. A chapter on telescopic observation credits the contributions made by many amateurs that have advanced our knowledge of variations observed on Mars. A chapter on spacecraft exploration, by an American and a Russian author who have participated in all Mars missions, includes a revelation of an additional Soviet attempt. Twenty-nine technical articles cover geophysics; bedrock geology; surface; atmosphere; exosphere and magnetic field; and climate history. Two chapters address the search for life on Mars; three concluding chapters consider the Martian satellites. An indispensable reference for scientists, Mars will also serve as a complete sourcebook for serious amateur astronomers.
“A well-balanced and thoughtful collection that acknowledges the existence of many unresolved questions concerning the formation and evolution of the planet.”—Science
“An important, well-balanced new book which will serve as a valuable source of both inspiration and reference material for the foreseeable future.”—The Observatory (England)
“This book is a real landmark in summarising our understanding of the Red Planet.”—Journal of the British Astronomical Association