Thanks to the photographic output of a small squadron of interplanetary spacecraft, we have awakened to the beauty and splendor of the solar system. Since Michael Benson’s masterful book Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, new, more powerful cameras in probes with greatly improved maneuverability have traversed the wheeling satellites of Jupiter; roamed the boulder-strewn red deserts of Mars; studied Saturn’s immaculate rings; and shown us our own ravishing Earth, a blue-white orb with a disturbingly thin atmosphere, as it plunges deeper into ecological crisis. These new images are the subject of Benson’s Planetfall, a truly revelatory book that uses its large page size to reproduce the greatest achievements in contemporary planetary photography as never before.
Praise for Planetfall:
“All retrospectives, art and otherwise, should shock us awake the way this one does . . . Planetfall is a book of science through and through, but it also deepens our sense of the miracle and the mystery of the universe, of our eye-blink lives.” —The New York Times
“This is the way I like to tour the solar system. Find a chair. Sit. Turn some pages. Gaze. Wonder.” —NPR.com
“Beautiful interplanetary images.” —MSNBC.com
“Beautiful visions of what’s out there.” —The Huffington Post
“To encounter a Benson landscape is to be in awe of not only how he sees the universe, but also the ways in which he composes the never-ending celestial ballet.” —Time.com
Harry N. Abrams
Harry N. Abrams
Harry N. Abrams
Harry N. Abrams
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Michael Benson's new photo-essay book about our Solar System is of the same high quality as his two previous masterworks, "Beyond" and "Far Out."
His previous work, "Far Out," covered the enormous size and timescape of the entire universe, as it is perceived by us.
This time, in "Planetfall," Benson returns home to our own cosmic backyard. He reveals the Solar System to us using the latest images from the most recent generation of planetary explorers, most notably the Cassini Spacecraft's stunning images of Jupiter and Saturn. There are also magnificent images of the Sun (which are the best I have ever seen published in any book), of Mars, and of our own planet Earth and its moon, taken from other space probes.
This book concentrates on those newer, deep-space images of the planets (and some of their moons) that many Americans may not have seen yet in other books, and also adds some of the best images from the surface of Mars taken recently by the...
Many of the pictures in this book are breathtakingly beautiful. Totally worth it. My very minor gripes are: First, I wish it was more comprehensive in its coverage of the solar system. There isn't really any coverage of Mercury, Venus, Uranus, or Neptune (or the demoted Pluto), but not many nice pictures of those exist at anywhere on Earth anyway. Also, it sounds like Benson almost intended this book as an addendum to his other solar system book, "Beyond". Maybe there's more comprehensive coverage there. Second, the captions are all in the very back of the book. It's a little frustrating trying to flip through the pictures and read the captions at the same time. Third, many of the Earth photos are of smoke from burning forests. Benson pessimistically focuses on that a little more than I would like.
Overall, though, my complaints are very minor. This book is full of stunning photos of the celestial bodies of our solar system. Enjoy them.
A great book for the person not too familiar with the "space community" but for someone who is in tune with space exploration and imagery this book failed to impress. Concentrated a little too much on earth, the moon, and mars too. Still a beautiful book.
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