The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars

The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars

by Simon Morden
The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars

The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars

by Simon Morden


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Uncover the mysteries, wonders, and history of Mars—as close to an eye-witness perspective of the incredible Red Planet as any reader can get.

The history of Mars is drawn not just on its surface, but also down into its broken bedrock and up into its frigid air. Most of all, it stretches back into deep time, where the trackways of the past have been obliterated and there is no discernible trace of where they started from or how they travelled, only where they ended up.

From the planet’s formation 4.5 billion years ago, through eras that featured cataclysmic meteor strikes, explosive volcanoes and a vast ocean that spanned the entire upper hemisphere, to the long, frozen ages that saw its atmosphere steadily thinning and leaking away into space, planetary geologist Dr. Simon Morden presents a tantalizing vision of our nearest neighbour, its dramatic history, and astonishing present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781639361755
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 07/05/2022
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 285,343
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dr. Simon Morden trained as a planetary geologist and geophysicist, realized he was never going to get into space, so decided to write about it instead. His award-winning writing career blends narrative science, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He is a past winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award for his Metrozone series of novels set in post-apocalyptic London. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Enter, Stage Left ix

Part 1 Explaining Mars

Dawn on Mars 3

Mars as an Unreliable Narrator 9

Why Is Mars So Different? 11

Mapping Mars 15

Part 2 Before the Beginning

The Giant Molecular Cloud 23

Accretion 27

Planetary Embryos 31

Part 3 Early Mars

Mars at the Start 39

Planetary Melting 43

Crater Formation 47

Crater Counting 49

Martian Meteorites 55

The Great Dichotomy 59

The Great Dichotomy Convection Theory 63

The Great Dichotomy Impact Theory 69

Phobos and Deimos 73

The Early Martian Atmosphere 77

Part 4 The Noachian

Sailing on an Endless Sea 83

The Hellas Impact 87

The Start of the Noachian 93

Obliquity and Eccentricity 97

Introducing Tharsis 101

We Need to Talk about Water 105

The Northern Ocean 109

Life 113

Tharsis Rises 119

Lake Eridania 121

Part 5 The Hesperian

The Hesperian Climate Change 127

The Beginning of the Cryosphere 131

Valles and Chaoses 135

Here Are Giants 139

Valles Marineris 143

Olympus Mons 149

Elysium 155

The Medusae Fossae Formation 159

True Polar Wander 165

The Ice Caps 171

Part 6 The Amazon Ian

A World of Ice 177

Into the Amazonian 181

The Amazonian Climate 185

Equatorial Ice 189

High Latitude Ice 195

The Polar Regions 199

The Dust Cycle 203

Amazonian Volcanism 207

Part 7 The Future

What Can We Make of Mars? 213

We Are the Martians 221

Acknowledgements 225

Bibliography 227

Index 237

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