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The Sirens of Mars
The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World | Sarah Stewart Johnson
7 posts | 4 read | 3 to read
As a new wave of interplanetary exploration launches in summer 2020, a talented young planetary scientist charts our centuries-old obsession with Mars. 'This elegantly crafted book conveys what it's like to be a young scientist involved in the quest' Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal Mars - bewilderingly empty, coated in red dust - is an unlikely place to pin our hopes of finding life elsewhere. And yet, right now multiple spacecraft are circling, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium and Mare Sirenum - on the brink, perhaps, of a discovery that would inspire humankind as much as any in our history. With poetic precision and grace, Sarah Stewart Johnson traces the evocative history of our explorations of Mars. She interlaces her personal journey as a scientist with tales of other seekers - from Galileo to William Herschel to Carl Sagan - who have scoured this enigmatic planet for signs of life and transformed it in our understanding from a distant point of light into a complex world. Ultimately, she shows how its story is also a story about Earth: it is a foil, a mirror, a tell-tale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings to find - if we're lucky - that we're not alone. 'The inside story of the exploration of Mars and the search for life there' Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell 'A celebration of human curiosity, passion and perseverance. Superb in its storytelling, majestic in its vision, The Sirens of Mars will give readers a new appreciation for the preciousness of life in the cosmos' Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams
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review
RamsFan1963
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60/150 An informative look at man's fascination with and exploration of the Red Planet, Mars. The author has real passion for discovery, and you can feel it in her writing. Each mission to Mars was an intense moment, on the brink of failure or success, you feel apart of each triumph. If you're not into science, some of this might seem a bit dry and text bookish when the astronomy and geology lingo gets heavy. 3.75/5

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RamsFan1963
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Even with the miracle of modern travel, it takes days for me to reach the edge of Nullarbor Plain: three or four flights, a quick shower in Perth, then a night or two backtracking east in a rented truck.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Suelizbeth
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Pickpick

This was a read along for SciFri book club. I didn‘t know what to expect from this book, but the science is easily understood and adds to the narrative. A retrospective of our obsession with the planet Mars, it ends before our most recent rover launch/landing. Back and forth between Earth and Mars, the book details humanity‘s search for life among the stars. The future is out there. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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tenar
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Pickpick

The Sirens of Mars interweaves the memoir of planetary scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson with the history of our search for life on Mars, charting the great leaps in our knowledge of the planet, both thrilling and devastating.

It‘s brief, and I didn‘t learn as much as I wanted to about our red neighbor, but I did enjoy the rather poetic peek at why planetary scientists have for so long devoted themselves to studying places they could never reach.

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shanaqui
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I've dug straight into this one since getting it yesterday -- it's basically a history of our scientific understanding of Mars, with lots of anecdotes and personal detail about the giants of the field. (I had no idea about Sagan's chronic issues with achalasia!)

Also huh, I seem to have a colour scheme here in my currently reading pile...

Clare-Dragonfly Very summery! 10mo
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shanaqui
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It's my birthday on Friday and the books are rolling in! This stack is the books my wife got me; I've started right in on the tagged book.

Lali from Portal Bookshop also sent me two books -- Jeremy Szal's Stormblood, and C.L. Polk's Witchmark. I already read Witchmark as an ARC, and liked but didn't love it... But it's stuck on my head and I want to try it again.

rwmg I love Liza Picard's social history books 10mo
shanaqui @rwmg A friend reviewed that one recently and it sounded riiiight up my alley! 10mo
15 likes2 comments
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BookNAround
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This #JulyARC will be released 7/7.

MySharonaK What a beautiful cover! Enjoy the book ❣️ 2y
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