Bibliography, web links and some definitions
This section contains references used in the preparation of this
website and which may be useful for further reading.
Excellent descriptions of Mars are available in several books, such
- Cattermole P., Mars, The Mystery Unfolds, 2001, Terra Publishing,
- Carr M.H., Water on Mars, 1996, Oxford University Press, 229 pp.
- Carr M.H., The Surface of Mars, 1981, Yale University Press, New
Haven, 232 pp.
For a book that includes up to date papers on various aspects of
Mars research including the radiometric dating and ejection ages,
- Kallenbach R., Geiss J. and Hartmann W.K. (editors) Chronology
and Evolution of Mars, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 498 pp.
Two of the papers in this volume are:
- Nyquist L.E., Bogard D.D., Shih C.Y., Greashake A. and Stoffler
D. (2001) Ages and Geologic Histories of Martian Meteorites.
- Bridges J.C., Catling D.C., Saxton J.M., Swindle T.D., Lyon
I.C. and Grady M.M. (2001) Alteration assemblages in Martian
Meteorites: Implications for near-surface processes.
Some definitions used in this website
- Aerocentric Longitude (Ls): The angle of Mars
in its orbit around the Sun, measured from the line of equinoxes.
Ls values are used to denote martian seasons e.g. Ls
= 0o is the vernal (spring) equinox within the northern
hemisphere and the autumn equinox within the southern hemisphere.
- Albedo: The fraction of incoming light reflected from a
body. Surfaces of high albedo appear white and areas of low albedo
- Aphelion (synonym apogee): The point in the orbit of a
body where it is furthest from the Sun
- Celestial Equator: This is the extension into space of
the plane of the Earth's equator. (see also Equinoxes)
- Ecliptic: The plane on which the earth rotates around the
Sun. The other planets and asteroids orbit close to this plane,
deviations from it are known as Orbit Inclination.
- Equinoxes: The line of intersection between the Sun's orbit
on the Ecliptic and the Celestial Equator is called the line of
equinoxes. It is often used as a reference line in astronomical
measurements. At a time of equinox e.g. when the Sun's path crosses
the Celestial Equator day and night are of equal length.
- Obliquity: The angle between the plane of a planet's equator
and the plane of the planet's orbit around the Sun. The Earth has
an obliquity of 23.5 degrees.
- Opposition: The close approach of Earth and another one
of the 6 planets that is further out in the Solar System. For instance,
when Earth passes between Mars and the Sun, Mars is said to be at
- Orbital eccentricity: A measure of the elongation of an
elliptical orbit. Circular orbits have an eccentricity value of
- Perihelion (synonym perigee): The point in the orbit of
a body where it is nearest to the Sun.
- Revolution Period: the time taken for a planet to orbit
the Sun e.g. one year for the Earth, 1.9 times this for Mars. Similarly,
the Moon orbits the Earth with a revolution period of 27.3 days.
- Rotation Period: the time taken for a planet or moon to
complete one full rotation on its spin axis e.g. one day for the
Earth, 0.41 times this for Jupiter. Similarly, the Moon completes
one full rotation on its spin axis in a Rotation Period of 27.3
- Semimajor axis: The semimajor axis of a planet's orbit
is the mean distance of the planet from the Sun. It is often quoted
in AU (astronomical units) with the Earth semimajor axis = 1.0.
Mars and Martian Meteorites / John Bridges / October 2003