This Is Mars

Photographs by NASA/MRO
Edited and designed by Xavier Barral With texts by Alfred S. McEwen, Francis Rocard, and Nicolas Mangold

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Regular Price: $100.00

Special Price: $80.00

300 pages, 150 black-and-white images 978-1-59711-258-1 September 2013
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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.

The Wall Street Journal, 11/22/13

“Science Books”

“ . . . there are . . . plenty of stunners—shots reminiscent of oceans, cells or Christo landscape art.”

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 Wallpaper*, 10/28/14

“Top shelf: 10 new books to flick through this autumn”

“ . . . a compelling portrait of the geology of an alien world.”

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Brain Pickings, 12/17/13

“The Best Photography Books of 2013”

“At the intersection of art and science, these mesmerizing images belong somewhere between Berenice Abbot’s vintage science photography, the most enchanting aerial photography of Earth, and the NASA Art Project.”

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Brain Pickings 10/31/13

“This Is Mars: Mesmerizing Ultra-High-Resolution NASA Photos at the Intersection of Art and Science”

“. . . offers an unparalleled glimpse of . . .mesmerizing visions of otherworldly landscapes beamed back by the MRO in all their romantic granularity, making the ever-enthralling Red Planet feel at once more palpable and more mysterious than ever."

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Surface Books, issue 103, November 2013, in print

“The book's stunning and often puzzlingly abstract photos of Mars’s surface will appeal to anyone who's visually curious.”


Cool Hunting, 10/04/13

“This is Mars: Art and science merge in a book of hi-res space camera images that reveals the red planet's beauty”

“The book makes a planet 140 million miles away a little more tangible, and feel a little more closer.”

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It’s Nice That, 10/03/13

“Publication: Epic new book reveals previously unseen photographs of the surface of Mars”

“As well as the jaw-dropping imagery that reside on its glossy pages, the design of This is Mars has been impeccably thought out by Xavier Barral.”

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New Republic, 09/29/13

“Ten Extraordinary Pictures From Mars”

“. . . these images . . . show the complexities of the legendary planet, from the astonishing depths of its canyons to its ice-covered poles and sweeping black dunes.”

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Artspace, 10/04/13

“8 of the Fall's Best New Art Books”

“In stunning black-and-white photos, the images conjure the sweeping canyon, craters, and surfaces of Mars in often gorgeously abstracted images. They're not only artworks in their own right but important pieces of scientific discovery.”

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