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  This is Mars (Xavier Barral)

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Author Topic:   This is Mars (Xavier Barral)

Posts: 4400
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 05-17-2013 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is Mars
by Xavier Barral
Photographs by NASA/MRO
This Is Mars offers a previously unseen vision of the red planet. Located somewhere between art and science, the book brings together for the first time a series of panoramic images recently sent back by the U.S. observation satellite MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). Since its arrival in orbit in 2006, MRO and its HiRISE telescope have been mapping Mars’s surface in a series of exceptionally detailed images that reveal all the beauty of this legendary planet. Conceived as a visual atlas, the book takes the reader on a fantastic voyage—plummeting into the breathtaking depths of the Velles Marineris canyons; floating over the black dunes of Noachis Terra; and soaring to the highest peak in our solar system, the Olympus Mons volcano. The search for traces of water also uncovers vast stretches of carbonic ice at the planet’s poles.

Seamlessly compiled by French publisher, designer, and editor Xavier Barral, these extraordinary images are accompanied by an introduction by research scientist Alfred S. McEwen, principle investigator on the HiRISE telescope; an essay by astrophysicist Francis Rocard, who explains the story of Mars’s origins and its evolution; and a timeline by geophysicist Nicolas Mangold, who unveils geological secrets of this fascinating planet.

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Aperture (October 7, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1597112585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597112581


Posts: 4400
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 01-18-2014 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love coffee-sized table books and this one is no exception: it's large and heavy. The pictures are printed on obviously high quality paper.

Since the book can be considered as being between art and science, some might be put off by the pictures presented. Quite an unusual view of the Red Planet.

All pictures are in black and white, so Mars looks more like a giant open-air coal mine rather than the traditional "red planet" we're "familiar" with. When I opened it, I wonder if the book's title shouldn't have been: This is Mars?

The first section consists of the photographs themselves, followed by an essay about Mars morphology using the photos as reference. Then you have maps of Mars followed by a chronology of its exploration. It's only at the end that you find the scientific explanation (or description) of the images. So I found it a bit of a drag to flip through the book, looking first at an image and then being obliged to find the corresponding description at the end. It's a curious choice that I can only explain by the different paper quality used for the images and the following text. I'll take one star just for that (yes, I'm being picky). Otherwise it's a great book, dustjacket, sturdy binding.

That's my review posted on Amazon. 4 stars out of 5 because of the reason mentioned above.

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