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Few challenges remain for Earth-bound adventurers, but do not fear – the Solar System abounds with weird and wonderful places to explore. In this unique guidebook, Paul Hodge takes us on a tour of the most spectacular sites in the Solar System. His vivid descriptions of the challenges provide a compelling introduction to extra-terrestrial environments. Starting with a climb of Mars' Mt. Olympus, much higher than Everest, you will be taken on imaginary expeditions to such exotic places as the Moon's Alpine Valley, Venus' precipitous and scorching Mt. Maxwell, a table mountain on Io, the snows of Saturn's rings and Miranda's incredibly high, icy cliff. You will be treated to a descent into a fabulous canyon on Mars, one that dwarfs the Earth's Grand Canyon, and will explore the rock lakes and terraces of Copernicus, a giant crater on the Moon. Who knows – one day these adventures may really be done!
1. Higher than Everest
2. Higher than that? - Other high peaks of Mars
3. Descent into the Martian deep
4. The cliffs of coprates
5. A polar crossing
6. The other Alps - climbing Mt. Blanc
7. Pico peak - Monadnock of the moon
8. The great Copernicus traverse
9. Maxwell, mountains of mystery
10. Volcanoes of Venus
11. The cliff of discovery
12. Descent into the maelstrom
13. An Ionian adventure
14. Mountain climbing in pizzaland
15. Under the frozen sea
16. Snowboarding through Saturn's rings
17. Titan's tarry seas
18. Climbing the cliff of Miranda
19. The Yellowstone of the solar system
20. All nine
Paul Hodge is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Washington and Editor in Chief of the Astronomical Journal. For many years he has taught a popular undergraduate course on the planets, from which this book originated.
"This book provides a spectacular tour of the most exciting surface features in the Solar system and achieves its objective brilliantly [...] Paul Hodge has written an adventure story in a very factual and entertaining way, and this book deserves to be a bestseller."
- Jerry Workman, Popular Astronomy
"Astronomers are explorers, a fact underlined by Paul Hodge in Higher than Everest [...] Instead of bombarding the reader with facts and familiar images, Hodge encourages us to imagine ourselves out there actually climbing about on the surfaces of planets and moons. He takes his intrepid traveller on imaginary scrambles up the solar system's highest volcano (Olympus Mons, on Mars), dusty traverses of the lunar crater Galileo, and chilling dives under the deepest ice floes (on Saturn's moon Europea). Each adventure is hypothetically possible with modern technology. He compares cliff climbs on Jupiter's moon Miranda with the ascent of the Eigerwand in Switzerland. He stresses the similarities between South Africa's Drakensberg mountains and Io's Mount Euboea. And throughout he emphasises the beauty and the thrill of what's still out there to be discovered."
- New Scientist
"Let astronomer Paul Hodge take you on an imaginary tour of the most spectacular sites in the Solar System [...] you will have your breath taken away, without even leaving your home."
- Europe & Astronomy
"This book is a sound exposition of the physical features of the different planets and their peculiarities, and deals with each landscape (and space vista) as if you really can trek through it [...] It is great fun, especially for the more ambitious armchair explorers. Hodge has refined this approach through teaching and as an excursion guide it could enliven many a class in planetary geology."
- Astronomy & Geophysics
"[...] a light-hearted adventurer's guide to our planet's immediate neighbourhood [...] will appeal to armchiar alpinists everywhere [...]"
"As a concise explorer's travel guide to the wonders of the Solar system, the book successfully stimulates the imagination by providing fascinating insights into each planetary or lunar environment."
- Peter Bond, Astronomy Now
"[...] a compelling introduction to extra-terrestrial environments [...] well illustrated and reasonably priced – recommended."
- Richard Taylor, Spaceflight