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U of U Astronomical Society Guest Lecture Magnificent Mars

Magnificent Mars

Lecturer: Ken Croswell, astronomer and best-selling author
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Old Museum of Fine Arts auditorium, University of Utah


Astronomer and best-selling author Ken Croswell will speak at the University of Utah on Tuesday Feb. 24 as part of a 15-city, nationwide tour promoting his latest book, “Magnificent Mars.”

“The planet Mars has long offered the prospect of another living world in the solar system,” Croswell says. “With an armada of spacecraft scrutinizing the red planet as never before, I’ll show you the best color images of Mars and describe the planet from pole to pole, exploring Martian geology, the Martian atmosphere, Martian volcanoes, and Martian water, all organized around the four great elements of Mars: earth, air, fire and water. Along the way you’ll see nearly every image from my new book ‘Magnificent Mars,’ including volcanoes over twice as tall as Mount Everest, canyons that could stretch from Ohio to California, and floods of water far greater than any known on Earth. Billions of years ago, on a world warmer and wetter, Mars may have given rise to life whose fossils await discovery today.”

“This is truly a golden age in the exploration of Mars,” states Sky and Telescope magazine. In the last six years alone, two orbiters began remote-sensing missions and NASA’s large robotic explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, have successfully landed on Mars and are sending extremely detailed information back to Earth. Mars recently passed closer to Earth than it has since prehistoric times, allowing our ground- and space-based telescopes to obtain more detailed information about the red planet’s surface and atmosphere than ever before. In January, President Bush set a “new course” for the nation’s space program that included returning astronauts to the moon by 2020 to establish a permanent base and putting astronauts on Mars sometime after 2030.

Croswell earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University and is the author of several highly acclaimed books including his first book, “The Alchemy of the Heavens,” which was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His second book, “Planet Quest,” explores the discovery of new planets in other solar systems and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

His best-selling book to date, “Magnificent Universe,” is a lavish celebration of the heavens, with 100 large, full-color astronomical photographs. His newest book, “Magnificent Mars,” presents the red planet in all its glory, with stunning images of Mars and its moons, following the same large, lavish format as “Magnificent Universe.” Croswell’s books have been translated into Chinese, German, Polish, and Serbian.

The University of Utah bookstore will have each of Croswell’s books on sale at the event, and Croswell will autograph books for the public.

The Salt Lake Astronomical Society and the University of Utah Astronomical Society are
co-sponsoring Croswell’s lecture. For more information please see