REVIEW: The Art of the Cosmos: Visions from the Frontier of Deep Space Exploration by Jim Bell
Hundreds of deep space missions since the 1960s have captured stunning photographs of the cosmos. Many of these scientific images can also be classified as art. This book highlights more than 100 examples, revealing the splendor of our universe.
This book is a gallery of human accomplishment that celebrates the scientists and engineers who push civilization—including the ways that we produce and experience art—beyond the physical limits of our planet. The photographs, selected by Dr. Jim Bell, represent some of the finest examples of the art of deep space exploration, most of them involving high-tech robotic emissaries. The images are loosely organized by distance from the Earth, so that readers will slowly travel on a journey farther and farther away from home, ultimately voyaging out to vistas of the farthest-known places in the universe.
Type in “space photographs” and several websites with thousands of photos will pop up. There’s even a subreddit called “SpacePorn.” Dr. Jim Bell who is a Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State takes us through over one hundred gorgeous photographs of space. Starting with the Sun and moving outwards through our solar system to finally look towards the stars and galaxies beyond us, he not only features some outstanding views of the universe but also explains who took the images, how they were processed, and then succinctly explains in an understandable way what we’re seeing.
Some of the pictures were taken with telescopes or space crafts and others with cameras on rovers. Some are compilations, some were planned, and some were happy accidents. They were taken using, among other things, x-rays, visible light, infrared, and ultraviolet and are also, in many cases, works of art. Bell includes notes and lists the websites where more information and images can be found. Prepare to oooh and aaaah at the universe around us. B+
The hardback edition releases on Oct 4th. The Kindle edition releases on Nov. 22nd.