The Red Planet: A Natural History of Mars

Pegasus. Jul. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781639361755. $26.95. SCI
Hailing from a small English village without streetlights, planetary geologist Morden had a clear view of the night sky. He was most inspired by Mars, and his love for the red planet is evident throughout this work. Beginning with a compelling portrayal of the planet’s surface, he describes the landscape, temperature, light, color of the sky, and dusty soil of the ground. In subsequent chapters, he presents the natural history of Mars beginning with its gradual emergence from part of a massive molecular cloud more than 4.5 billion years ago. He also explains the forces that shaped the planet over time, including gravity, its moons, meteor strikes, volcanoes, and ice. Concluding, he considers the future of the planet and the necessary steps for human habitation. Morden acknowledges uncertainty in the Mars story; astrologers are not entirely sure how it developed. Scientific theories are often wrong and need to be corrected. This uncertainty does not discourage him from sharing everything he can about Mars in a readable, entertaining way.
VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn more about Mars. It will also appeal to those with an interest in the solar system and/or geology.
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