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Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicleby Michael Benson
Synopses & Reviews
In Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle, author and filmmaker Michael Benson assembles an outstanding collection of astronomical images from observatories around the world and in space. We live in a golden age of astronomical observation. Some of the resulting images are well known and have inspired millions of people; others, equally breathtaking, have never been published before. For this book, Benson has culled the very best, and organized them into a thrilling journey through space and time to the universe's great places, ranging from "nearby" nebulae in our own Milky Way galaxy to the light of the Hubble Deep Field that has traveled billions of light-years.
Every bit as innovative and beautiful as the author's successful Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes but far grander in conception, Far Out is an inspiring work of art and science on the cutting edge of human perception.
A Guide to the Cosmos, in Words and Images Dazzling and True andshy;and#8211;New York Times Book Review
[With Far Out] Take a good long look into space-time. and#8211;Los Angeles Times
Far out by Michael Benson proves that putting the photographable universe into a book doesnand#8217;t dampen its beauty. and#8211; Menand#8217;s Journal
An exquisite picture book of outer space. and#8211;San Diego Union Tribune
and#160;and#8220;2001: A Space Odyssey and Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle: both are inspirational moving pictures. Far Out punches deep into space, like a series of jump cuts. It is a truly cinematic experience to see these magnificent images in rapid succession. Like the Star-Child in Stanley Kubrickand#8217;s vision of a Mankind evolving to a higher level, Far Out inspires me again to imagine a Universe filled with life, and each of those billions of pinpoints being orbited by worlds and beings of breathtaking beauty. Very moving pictures.and#8221;
and#8212;Douglas Trumbull, Oscar-winning Visual Effects Supervisor, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek, The Motion Picture
and#8220;The inventive, imaginative Michael Benson here unfolds the universe in its multiple dimensions.and#8221;
and#8212;Dava Sobel, author of Longitude, Galileoand#8217;s Daughter, and The Planets
and#8220;That the images in Michael Bensonand#8217;s latest book, Far Out, are completely mind-blowing goes without saying. Whatand#8217;s especially dazzling about this volume, though, is the way Bensonand#8217;s text takes the shards of those blown minds and completely reconfigures them into such a startlingly new and fresh awareness: a trembling awe all its own.and#8221;
and#8212;Lawrence Weschler, author of Everything That Rises and Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
and#8220;First he gave us the beauty of our solar systemand#8217;s neighbor worlds in Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, but Michael Benson hasnand#8217;t stopped there. In this spectacular new offering he gives us the universe itself, presented in such stunning and vivid detail that I am awed by every page. Open this book, take the journey, and be amazed.and#8221;
and#8212;Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon and A Passion for Mars
"Journalist, filmmaker and photographer Benson follows his book Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes with an even more stellar array of astronomical photographs that offer glorious views of space, moving successively from close to home to the outermost regions of the universe, moving simultaneously farther from Earth and farther back in time. Benson's emphasis on the correlation between geological time and astronomical distance sets this book far apart from others. Light rays, he says, move 'like ripples in a pond... so vast that the ripples extending out from each event take thousands, millions, or even billions of years to echo off its banks.' Light reaching Earth now from the Witch Head nebula, some 740 light-years distant, was generated in the 14th century. Elsewhere, remote galactic clusters, 'aggregate bonfires shining across the blackness of deep time,' cast light as old as Pangaea, the Earth's ancient supercontinent, which broke up to create today's continents. Benson illuminates the vast scale of the universe and its workings with large-scale 'quasi-cinematic' photos that reveal scintillating stars, galaxies and Rorschach-like nebulae in their 'true' colors. The 228 color photos are spectacular and enhanced with three eight-page gatefolds." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
The format is lavishly oversize (11.5x11.5") to accommodate images of the universe--presented full-page--culled by the author from the best of what's available these days. Without interpretation these images have only a small amount of visual interest on flat sheets of paper, but with interpretation they spring to life inspiring awe and wonder. The author takes care to provide that context in engaging narrative as well as small-scale images that help narrate the chronology told by light traveling across the eons. Benson is a journalist, filmmaker, and photographer whose previous book Beyond: Visions of Interplanetary Probes has been the source for exhibitions sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In "Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle, "author and filmmaker Michael Benson assembles an outstanding collection of astronomical images from observatories around the world and in space. We live in a golden age of astronomical observation. Some of the resulting images are well known and have inspired millions of people; others, equally breathtaking, have never been published before. For this book, Benson has culled the very best, and organized them into a thrilling journey through space and time to the universe's great places, ranging from "nearby" nebulae in our own Milky Way galaxy to the light of the Hubble Deep Field that has traveled billions of light-years.
Every bit as innovative and beautiful as the author's successful "Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes "but far grander in conception, "Far Out "is an inspiring work of art and science on the cutting edge of human perception.
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 Bensonandrsquo;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 Saturnandrsquo;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 Bensonandrsquo;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:
andldquo;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.andrdquo; andmdash;The New York Times
andldquo;This is the way I like to tour the solar system. Find a chair. Sit. Turn some pages. Gaze. Wonder.andrdquo; andmdash;NPR.com
andldquo;Beautiful interplanetary images.andrdquo; andmdash;MSNBC.com
andldquo;Beautiful visions of whatandrsquo;s out there.andrdquo; andmdash;The Huffington Post
andldquo;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.andrdquo; andmdash;Time.com
Thanks to the photographic output of a small squadron of interplanetary spacecraft, we have awakened to the beauty and splendor of the solar system. Featuring the most amazing photographs from Abramsand#8217; stunning Planetfall, this truly revelatoryand#8212;and eye-poppingand#8212;16-month calendar uses its large page size to reproduce the greatest achievements in contemporary planetary photography as never before. Includes bonus poster.
About the Author
Carl Schoonover is a doctoral candidate in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia University, where he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.
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