|Product Details |
Harry N. Abrams
*Starred Review* Space-age prophet Arthur C. Clarke, one of three eloquent, forward-looking contributors to this pioneering and magnificent collection of pictures generated by the robotic space probes Galileo, Voyager, Pathfinder, Magellan, Viking, and other less commonly known mechanical explorers, describes these breathtaking images as "some of the greatest landscape pictures ever taken." The recognition that these miraculous images (supremely reproduced) are nothing less than works of art is the impetus for this resplendent volume, and discerning writer and documentary filmmaker Benson did, in fact, serve as the book's curator, searching through tens of thousands of digital images to find the most striking and beautiful scenes of the solar system, many never published before. Each sequence of finely detailed portraits of Earth, the Sun, the Moon, and our sister planets is sublimely exhilarating, particularly those of the volatile Jovian system, blue and serene Neptune, and elegant Saturn, which Benson describes as "cosmic perfection." Not only do Clarke, Benson, and Lawrence Weschler celebrate the ingenious technology of robotic space probes and their, as Weschler writes, "unparalleled ability to convey the sheer beauty and mystery" of the solar system, they also ponder, with great acumen, the metaphysical questions raised by these awesome new visions of the glorious cosmos. Donna Seaman
Copyright ¬ American Library Association. All rights reserved
From Book News, Inc.
Presenting photographs from the history of robotic space exploration, this oversized book provides an awe-inspiring visual narrative of the solar system's planets, moons, and asteroids. From the vantage point of unmanned explorers, the book shows Venus' veil of clouds lifted by Magellan's high-resolution radar; Mars as viewed by the Viking orbiters of the 1970s; and unambiguous signs of life on Earth revealed by Galileo's flybys en route to Jupiter. The striking high- resolution images form a... read more
"These images are a spectacular reaffirmation that we are privileged to live in the greatest age of exploration the world has ever known."-From Arthur C. Clarke's foreword
Since the 1960s the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been sending unmanned satellites to explore the planets, moons, and sun. These probes have amassed a stunning visual record of other worlds, revealing not one but scores of new frontiers, from rust-red Mars to the ethereal rings of Saturn.
Author Michael Benson has spent years compiling and digitally processing the best of these images. In Beyond this "deskbound cosmic pilgrim" (Atlantic Monthly) has pulled together the most spectacular of them into one volume that presents these photographs for the first time as art. The resulting book consists of two parts: the first is a spectacular visual tour of the solar system, with views every bit as compelling as the work of the great landscape photographers on earth; the second is a series of beautifully written essays that explain the story behind these photographs: the history of the probes' journeys, how they work, and why they were built. This book shows us how modern science has revealed the astonishing beauty and mystery of the solar system and its awe-inspiring worlds far beyond any places human beings have ever directly observed.