5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Patrick Moore On Mars,
By A Customer
This review is from: Patrick Moore on Mars (Hardcover)
Ever wanted to discover what lies on other worlds, what they're made of and what's out there? Perhaps you're discouraged by the lack of science or maths degrees?
Well, here's great news! Your minimum entry requirement is curiosity and a desire to explore! And this is a fun book to read too!
Another fine thing about Patrick Moore's books is that they are self-contained. So if you want to learn about Mars, you won't need to buy loads of other books to complete your knowledge. Everything you need to discover Mars is in this book.
Patrick Moore On Mars takes you on a voyage of discovery of the Red Planet. He describes things Martian is easy to grasp terms. Patrick has always written this way. He describes the Earth to Sun distance as one inch, therefore the distance to the nearest star is then 4 miles.
Throughout the book you will discover what the historical view of Mars was. Percival Lowell believed that Martians existed and that the Martian "canals" suggested that Martians were irrigating the planet to offset droughts. From the limited view of Mars from Earth then, Mars was a deep red planet with black lines criss-crossing the surface. An alien and threatening looking world dubbed by the Romans, Mars, and the God of war.
Throughout the book, wonderful details about Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos and superb pictures of the Martian surface from the Viking and later Pathfinder probes. These series of probes have radically changed our knowledge of Mars. Viking was unable to detect life on Mars, so the jury's still out.
Mars still fascinates Patrick, despite these new, some would say, disappointing findings that mark Mars as a rather lifeless planet. Patrick includes the Martian rocks that crashed on Earth many centuries ago had scientists wondering whether the little worms were past organic life. We are still not sure. Colonising Mars is explored and these predictions are more likely to be fairly accurate visions of the future than the fantastic ones in the past.
Towards the end of the book there are wonderfully comprehensive appendices which include some useful information on how to set about observing Mars yourself.
To sum up Patrick Moore On Mars is a very cleverly written book. There's everything that would interest the beginner as well as the more knowledgeable amateur astronomer.
To prove my point further, it was a Patrick Moore book, which sparked a 10 year Mark Willis's lifelong interest in astronomy!
Enjoy this book!