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Visions of Mars Paperback – 27 May 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; 01 edition (27 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810992108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810992108
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 1.6 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,930,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Olivier de Goursac is a science and space imaging specialist with a long history of involvement with Mars. After working with NASA/JPL on the Viking and Pathfinder Mars missions, he helped to create the "Mars Education and Public Outreach Office" in 1993. He became its representative in France, promoting the missions to Mars to the general public, and also did public outreach relating to the Pathfinder mission in the United States in 1997. He is the co-author of two books in France and a regular contributor to popular science magazines. Dr. James B. Garvin is a senior Mars scientist with NASA.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a must for all astronomy and planetary geologists alike.
The breathtaking views of the planet Mars, taken both from orbit and from the landers on the surface, show in remarkable detail exactly what it would be like to stand on it's surface. The book is seperated into various chapters covering all aspects of Mars' surface features and weather conditions. The written text also complements the photographs, giving clear and concise details.
Also contained in the book is a section on comparative planetology. In this section conditions and processes on both Earth and Mars are scrutinised to give comparisons and examples between the two.
The modest price of this book should not distract the potential buyer, the book is a fascinating look at one of our nearest neighbours in space.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Vision' in the title is slightly misleading, as it implies vistas's as opposed to content.
Actually, the strength of the book lies more in some bold, remarkably astute insights into the fascinating mystery of Mars and its turbulent existence.

Whereas 'Planet Mars: Story of Another World' is a very worthy and informative book, the text suffers from `academic hedging' where a cautious, restrained presentation leaves one in some doubt as to the interpretation of some of the most fascinating planetary puzzles in the Solar System.

De Goursac by contrast has no such qualms, and decisively presents an extremely convincing overview - he is well qualified as a French space-media specialist on Mars and years as an image process specialist for JPL and NASA.

Many of the pictures are superbly interesting and unique, complemented by very salient info including absolute scale, geo-coordinates and spacecraft involved.

Minor quibbles: The French printing at times seems to fall short on a few of the images...ironically? The publisher could have used a bolder and bigger typeface on the captions with reversal font, and the layout looks a little rushed. Occasionally the translation shows a lack of a technical proficiency, and there is at least one paragraph repeated.... pretty small carps in general.

Overall, a book of deep nuggets that no one interested in modern planetary exploration should be without.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done Mars picturers. A lot of time and effort went into this book. 13 Jun. 2010
By Thomas Erickson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Visions of Mars is a very good book. The pictures are great 5 star and its explained much time and effort was given to get the color right.Oliver De Goursac did a great job explaining the pictures and facts of Mars.

We see Mars discussed in 5 segments in Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Man. We see images by the 2 Vikings,Pathfinders mini rover,and later the rovers Spirit and Opportunity.

I really liked the pictures of gullies,and strange formations unseen from earth. The segment on Phobos and Demos was great as was the entire book. This is a coffee table book with fantastic pictures and good writings.

As a lifetime Mars Society Member who has a few dozen Mars books so I can really appreciate this book and the effort put into it. Also as an amateur astronomer of over 40 years I view Mars a lot with my 20 inch telescope. Even at opposition when Mars is closest to Earth due to Mars small size its difficult getting good definition of most Mars objects. I can see the polar icecaps and some of the major features of Mars but its very hard getting definition of other than gigantic objects on Mars. Here's where this book comes in. Really detailed pictures of valleys, gullies, craters,huge volcanoes etc. Also an excellent section of future long range terraforming on Mars.This book has them all.

I really wanted to give Visions of Mars 5 stars but here are some downers. Visions on Mars has white lettering on black for reading. To me its easier to read black letters on white. Also some of the fantastic pictures were full page and the definitions were on other pages. I had to flip from the written explanation to the picture page. I like it when the explanation is on the same page. Also on some of the pictures the page number was not listed. The explanation on another page references a picture page and that page does not have a page number. I know I'm a stickler for detail but I like what I like. A nice counteracting plus was a nice folding out Mars map on both the front and rear covers...that was helpful and a good idea.

I will be very happy showing my kids some of the pictures and reading to them. No heavy math and Oliver De Goursac kept the writings crisp and interesting. If the white lettering on black, some explanations not on the picture page and some pictures not page numbered does not bother you 5 stars. For me 4 1/2 stars....recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful collection of images 6 Jan. 2007
By Tasso Renato - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Astronomy very much, particularly I am interested in the Planet Mars. On Mars there is a less gravity, and I am an invalid. Perhaps we can live better there. So far it is the Planet most studied. I think it is very important the idea to explore Mars and to settle it. The different missions are our eyes. This book let us see what our eyes have seen in such a beautiful place very far. I like this French scientist very much. To have this book it is a little to speak with him!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy pictures bring you right to the Red Planet!! 3 Oct. 2005
By William B. Bangs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What would Mars look like if you could actually get in your own spaceship and fly there right now? And what book would you want to put what you were seeing in context? Well, in both cases, this is your book! The fourth planet from the sun is brought to life in full color in this priceless blend of realistic paintings, actual photographs and informative prose. Great as a gift or for yourself: You'll never have quite the same Visions of Mars ever again!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, great pictures 26 Oct. 2005
By Jeff Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contained some new pictures that I had never seen before. Written narration is good. If you're interested in learning and seeing more of Mars, I highly recommend this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars You will learn more of Mars from this book than the average popular edition..... 15 Sept. 2013
By Frank D - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
`Vision' in the title is slightly misleading, as it implies vistas's as opposed to content.
Actually, the strength of the book lies more in some bold, remarkably astute insights into the fascinating mystery of Mars and its turbulent existence.

Whereas 'Planet Mars: Story of Another World' is a very worthy and informative book, the text suffers from `academic hedging' where a cautious, restrained presentation leaves one in some doubt as to the interpretation of some of the most fascinating planetary puzzles in the Solar System.

De Goursac by contrast has no such qualms, and decisively presents an extremely convincing overview - he is well qualified as a French space-media specialist on Mars and years as an image process specialist for JPL and NASA.

Many of the pictures are superbly interesting and unique, complemented by very salient info including absolute scale, geo-coordinates and spacecraft involved.

Minor quibbles: The French printing at times seems to fall short on a few of the images...ironically? The publisher could have used a bolder and bigger typeface on the captions with reversal font, and the layout looks a little rushed. Occasionally the translation shows a lack of a technical proficiency, and there is at least one paragraph repeated.... pretty small carps in general.

Overall, a book of deep nuggets that no one interested in modern planetary exploration should be without.
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