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The Invisible Universe Hardcover – 7 Oct 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company (7 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821226282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821226285
  • Product Dimensions: 41.8 x 35.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,375,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Malin is an astronomical scientist at the Anglo-Australian Observatory. His images have appeared on the covers of books and magazines and in movies (most recently Jodie Foster's CONTACT) and even on a series of postage stamps. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers, numerous articles and five books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Peter Morris on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of David Malin's superb books of the deep sky showing classic (and some unusual) deep sky objects in colour and black and white. The photographs are very well done and the text is good, but by modern standards some of them look slightly out of focus to me. This may be partly the paper they are printed on which is a kind of matt gloss rather than full gloss. This is good for fingerprints (doesn't leave marks) but perhaps reduces the sharpness of the image. The colours also seem to have aged slightly as well. But it is doubtlessly a classic and will appreciate in value as the new copy price already demonstrates(but mine got bumped in the book somewhat reducing its value!). I also have to point out that the book is simply huge and doesn't fit into any of my bookcases! More importantly this means that it can easily be damaged in transit unless it is very well packed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The most beautiful astronomy book I've ever seen! 5 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There are a lot of astronomy picture books on the market, all featuring wonderful photographs. The Invisible Universe is simply THE most beautiful book in that genre that I've ever seen, inside and outside. David Malin is the best-known astronomical photographer in the world, and his work already appears in just about every astronomy book published this decade. This particular volume compiles much of his finest work in a big 14-by-16 format, laced with artwork of the sky and the constellations, strong scientific content, and well-written prose. A few years back, Malin put together a masterpiece called A View Of The Universe; this book is bigger and even more beautiful.
There's something for every reader in this book. Each photograph takes up a full page, so you get its full stunning beauty. Short, readable descriptions written by Malin give very understandable and jargon-free scientific background to the astronomical phenomena in the pictures. The drawings of the sky and the constellations are also accompanied by prose laced with mythology and history. The book is pleasant to read as well as visually unmatched -- a wonderful combination.
Whether you want a beautiful and well-written introduction to the wonders of the heavens, a collection of some of the finest astronomical photos ever taken, or even just a pretty book for your coffee table, I heartily and unreservedly recommend this book. It's all of the above.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
An excellent book 20 May 2001
By delphi121 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure if Malin's "Invisible Universe" or Croswell's "Magnificent Universe" was the one to buy, so I bought both. For people who have wondered which of the two might be better, perhaps my review will help.
Each book has its own strengths. Croswell's are the dark, glossy pages and the multitude of images from different sources. Malin's is image quality and size. Approximately 20 images are the same in both books (Croswell gives credit to Malin for using them). However, even though the pictures are identical, their appearance is not. In two-thirds of those twenty images there simply is no comparison. Croswell's images look "small" and "soft," while Malin's large format sharpness and resolution are in a different class. The remaining one-third ranks about the same with Malin's trading off a slight increase in grain for a little more sharpness, resolution and, of course, size. The remaining images, in both books, in general, follow the same pattern. Croswell's are of decent quality and there are many of them to see (including about 20 from the Hubble). Malin's remaining range in quality from about the same as Croswell's to outstanding.
There are, also, a couple of other things to keep in mind that other reviewers haven't mentioned. Croswell's pages though beautiful (they are glossy) are also subject to fingerprints at the mere touch. Also, Malin's ships wrapped in a bag whereas Croswell's is open and, therefore, subject to the curiosity (and fingerprints) of warehouse handlers, etc. This is the second "Magnificent Universe" I've gotten, the first had to go back since its condition upon arrival was unacceptable. One last thing, many of Croswell's pictures have an annoying border around them and do not take up the full page. Malin's main theme pictures are always full page.
Which one should you buy? If you like quantity and can only afford one book, then the "Magnificent Universe" is the one for you. If you prefer quality and relaxed viewing, then Malin's is the better choice. If you like astronomical images and can afford both books, then get both of them. I'm keeping both. Happy buying.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Its size does justice to the its subject 3 Jan. 2000
By Adelie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave my husband a telescope for his birthday last summer, and have since become an astronomy widow - better than being a football widow! I wanted to give him a Christmas gift of something spectacular that wasn't technological, since I know nothing about it, and saw a review of this book. So I took a chance and bought it. What a success!
The book is cumbersome because of its size, but the upside of that is that it forces you to sit down at a table and really LOOK at it - this is not a browsing book. Each image is more spectacular than the previous, and the photographs are so beautifully done, so artistic, that they look almost painterly. The realization that this stuff actually exists, is really out there, in all this color and glory, is tremendously exciting. A "normal"-sized book could never do the photographs justice - this book had to be this size. The Horsehead Nebula is so other-worldly, so amazing, that words fail me and only photos like these can describe it.
This book, more than any other I've seen, transports me off the planet and makes me realize how unimaginably vast the universe really is - and fills me with awe that we silly humans with our puny little machines can actually see this much!
I recommend this book without reservation to anyone with an interest in astronomy, art, photography... I sure am glad I gave it to US!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A big treasure of a book... 8 Dec. 1999
By nico - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I recently bought a copy of 'The Invisible Universe' for myself and I was blown away by each and every one of these astounding images that David Malin assembled and finally published in an appropriate format (finally a book whose size dares to do the content justice!). I am not (yet!) an expert on this subject matter, but it also proved to be a very interesting read with lots of interesting quotes and references. The oversized images convey the beauty of the subject matter as well as the purpose of science. They're not only very precise documentary photographs of constellations, nebulas and supernovas, but also a very poetic and artistic look (some of the images even reminded me of Ross Bleckner's paintings) at the vast universe that inspired me to let my imagination run wild. I applaud the people who made this book. It's a treasure! I especially appreciate the contrast of the vivid and saturated large photographs and the historic drawings and maps (and the juxtapositions of the two), which makes it more than just a pretty book but also a great reference for people like me, who are just starting to get into astronomy. I recommend this book for everyone who looks up at the stars and wonders if there is anything else out there. Carl Sagan would have loved this one! Ps: read the appendix to find out how these pictures were taken. -> My favorite one is called 'Storm of Orion'
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Words don't do it Justice 24 Aug. 2001
By CMOS - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perhaps the most superb collection of astronomical and cosmological photographs I've ever seen in one collection. If you have even the faintest interest in astronomy or cosmology, do yourself a kind service and buy this book. You will never look at the stars the same way again. This book renders a perspective on the universe and our tiny place in it like no other.
As for the size, it is a little large but several of the photos demand it. The person who commented on the image quality certainly doesn't have a strong grasp of astro photography or he surely wouldn't criticize. This is a masterful work.
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