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Beyond: Visions Of The Interplanetary Probes
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Beyond: Visions Of The Interplanetary Probes

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Michael Benson has spent years compiling images collected by the unmanned probes that NASA has been sending into space to explore the solar system. These images provide a visual tour of the solar system and are accompanied by essays that explain the history of the journeys of the probes.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 21st 2003 by Harry N. Abrams (first published October 1st 2003)
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Jean Tessier
Amazing pictures of objects in the Solar System, from the Nasa archives. This
is more of a picture book, really. It's more like I'm lazily looking through it
than actual reading.

I read about this book, and the
matching exposition
in an article in the New York Times. The pictures on the website were
breath-taking, so I ordered the book. Some of them are pictures of the Earth
taken from orbit, kinda like those of
@Astro_Soichi on Twitter.
Others are from other planets and moons, taken by space probes, so
Cool photos of the planets. However, I felt like the author had a chip on his shoulder he was trying to exorcise in the text.

The book is meant for young readers but the author spends an undue amount of time explaining his editorial/writing choices.

Presumably this is a simplified version of his adult book, Beyond, from 6 years previous. That would explain why some of the vocabulary seems advanced. The glossary is pretty minimal compared to the number of scientific words throughout the text.

Kam-Yung Soh
A fascinating book about the solar system that is light on words but good with pictures. And what pictures, taken from imagery provided by the various space probes and 'modified' to present images that might be what the human eye would see.

Consider the book as a pictorial summary of what we currently know about the solar system. I look forward to an update to the book when the newest bunch of space probes have visited the planets under represented in this book and returned yet more stunning and
As Michael Benson states, "I strongly believe the remarkable photographic legacy of these space missions constitutes a valuable chapter in the history of photography as much as it belongs to astronomy or the planetary sciences." This book is his successful contribution to all of the above mentioned legacies! It's an excellent book for people any age to learn about the solar system and the visuals are the best I have ever seen. Strongly recommended!
How can a book filled with some of the most amazing pictures ever taken be anything less than five stars? This book gave me a new appreciation of the solar system, boggled my mind, taught me many things I never knew but probably should have, gave me an appreciation for some of humanity's greatest achievements, and made me realize (as Arthur C. Clarke points out in the intro) that we have travelled in space much more than we think we have.
Katie Daniels
295 pictures of the solar system, taken by probes over the decades. The photography is stunning, and the images are far more detailed the those usually seen through telescopes. And even more; the printing is superb, making the images almost jump to life off the page. The pictures of Jupiter with its moons Io and Europa are amazing, as are the images of Neptune. I have never seen planetary photography this realistic and detailed.
Todd N
i keep this book on my coffee table for my kids. we look at it from time to time. it's nice to know that my kids could tell the difference between a volcano and a crater by the age of three. science is beautiful. throughout the history of western thought it has been our struggle to understand the heavens that has propelled our understanding of humanity forward. and i intend to instill that sense of wonder very deeply in my children.
Seriously amazing photos of the planets, some of their moons, asteroids, and the sun. Very cool.

Not to be confused with his more recent book, Beyond: A Solar System Voyage, which is meant for younger readers.

Regardless of age, I think I'd still pick this one. It has loads more photos and enjoyable foreword & afterwords by Arthur C. Clarke and Lawrence Weschler, respectively.
Abby Johnson
Stunning photos from years of space probes show the planets up close and personal. Text is informative, if occasionally dry. Great resource for planet reports and the brilliant photos will hook browsers.

Read full review on my blog:
Mar 25, 2010 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: geeks, young nieces and nephews.
Recommended to Jamie by: New Scientist magazine
The photos in this book are big, beautiful and detailed. The text is predominantly white on black ( s p a c e y ). Flicking through this book I can't fail to feel transported. I've also developed an unhealthy fondness for the various robot probes that have been so delicately fired into space, never to return.
The photos from our solar system probes are striking and rendered with their usual care by Abrams. The text is adequate and not quite always for younger readers.
Don't expect photos of all planetary moons.

Still, on the balance a very useful book that will inspire further exploration.
This one really didn't do much for me. The pictures are beautiful, but the text was kind of haphazard and boring. Still, some kids may find it interesting, I suppose. It does have some good facts mixed in.
Absolutely beautiful book filled with clear and detailed images taken in the last 40 years from space probes. It's just as much of an art book as it is a science book.
The photos are stunning, it fuels my imagination, and inspires me. I originally borrowed it from the library, but liked it so much, I bought it.
Wonderful book ! ... great pictures and appropriate info ...
Steven Laube
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Why i chose this book 2 3 Dec 02, 2011 04:50AM  
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Benson is a journalist and maker of documentary films, including the award-winning Predictions of Fire (1995). His work has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Smithsonian, among other publications, and he has been a television (CNN) and radio
More about Michael Benson...
Cosmigraphics Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle Planetfall: New Solar System Visions Far Beyond - Fantastische Ansichten unseres Sonnensystems Jenseits Des Blauen Planeten

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