Book News

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’s 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 body of art created in equal parts by scientists, by the probes themselves, and by the curator Michael Benson. Benson (a writer, filmmaker, and photographer) includes 295 color and black-and-white photographs, and essays explaining the stories behind the photos, and how and why the probes were built.

— Book News, Portland, OR

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