Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time Hardcover – 23 Mar 2010
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About the Author
Edward J. Weiler is an astrophysicist and a leading scientist at NASA. He served as Chief Scientist of the Hubble Space Telescope from 1979 until 1998. He is currently the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate of NASA. He has published widely in scientific journals. Hubble was created by the team that has worked on Abrams's previous NASA books: Robert Jacobs, Connie Moore, and Bertram Ulrich, with the addition of Dwayne Brown and JD Harrington, all NASA staffers.
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I live in Holland so it took a couple of weeks for the book to arrive, but finally here it is. First impression: a nice sleek hardcover book with absolutely high quality picture resulution and colour. There's a fine balance between the amount of photo's and text, though in essence it's a photo-book. You won't be disappointed.
Upon first reading I was really impressed by the image quality. Black is really deep-black instead of dark-grey and the resolution is just that high I felt compelled to take a magnifying glas to zoom in on all those beautiful pictures... And so I did, but I have to disappoint you: it's a book. If you want that zoom-in experience; go to the Hubble website.
Anyway, the written contribution is impressive. Edward J. Weiler was Chief scientist for the Hubble telescope from 1979 till 1998, among other functions, he now is the current associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. Pretty impressive, but that doesn't mean you have to fear thick and tiresome bureaucratic writing. The texts are accessible yet detailed, image captions detail the scientific essence without losing it's clarity, and there are quotes from actual astronauts who were out there deploying, repairing and servicing Hubble. That's just cool.
Many pictures from the actual Hubble missions are there as well. Many of which were made before the digital camera age. So you would expect some graininess, especially with the 1990 and 1993 missions. But it's not there. The scans are crisp and compelling. They absolutely capture the beauty and awe of manned spaceflight.
Verdict. This is a beautifully published book, ideal for coffee-table reading. The images are just straight out amazing! You'll spend hours peering over all the crisp details, it's just incredible. Downside are the images spanning two pages... It's annoying to see the luminous center of an amazing galaxy being buried in the central gutter; but hey surprise! It's a book. And that's the main downside of this book: it's a book. There will be many more beautiful Hubble images and discoveries for years to come and eventually those will end up in book-form as well. An until that day "Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time" will be an impressive, graphic and up-to-date testimonial to Hubble's amazing service. Just don't forget to read the text, you will learn a lot.
Last words: In his april 2010 NASA speech, President Obama told he had a Hubble picture of Jupiter hanging at the oval office wall. If that is so: I recommend him to put this book on his desk as well.
I could not wait to receiv this and when I received it I couldn't put it down. Not only are the pictures incredible, but it is packed with interesting facts not only about the data it obtains, but about how it came into being, and each of the missions that have served to give it the ability to provide those amazing images.
this will become a treasured tennant of my bookshelf.
This publication is for your library of Astronomy, bar none.
Will be interesting to see what the first books from the James Webb Space Telescope look like, but we've got a few years so enjoy this in the meantime. This is also a good "mobile" coffee table book too because unlike most coffee table books it doesn't way 47 pounds and/or completely cover a person's lap / lower body. Very easy to pick up, hold in one hand and thumb through with the other, while still maintaining that large format detail.