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on 24 December 2003
Summary: Superb images of the solar system with short explanatory essays.

As a child of the space race era, I have been a life-long addict of astronomy, space flight and large, heavily illustrated books about space.

This book by writer, filmmaker and photographer Michael Benson, is a collection of truly amazing pictures covering most of the major planetary bodies in our solar system and has been compiled from the very best space probe images from the dawn of space exploration in the early 1960s right up to on-going missions to explore the outer solar system. The book includes the Earth and Moon, the Sun, a number of asteroids, all the planets (with the exception of Pluto which has not yet been visited by space probes), and a good number of moons of other planets, notably those of Jupiter. There are many images of each object, giving a real impression of what it must be like to see these worlds for yourself. The highlights for me were: the images from Mars Global Surveyor, whose detail and resolution is stunning; the moons of Jupiter, a mini solar system in itself of incredible colour and diversity; and Saturn's rings in superb detail. I was also amazed by the detailed radar images of the surface of cloud-covered Venus sent back by the Magellan probe, very few of which I had seen before. The text throughout the book is both interesting and informative, as are the Foreword by science-fiction grand-master and visionary Arthur C. Clarke and the Afterword by Lawrence Weschler, reporter, author and Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

There are a number of space photography books of this type on the market and I own a several of these, however, I can safely say that this book is the best example of the genre that I have come across. The images are carefully chosen and are truly awe-inspiring and I recognised only very few that I'd seen in other books or websites. The quality of the photographic reproduction is first-rate and where large mosaics have been assembled from smaller images, this has been done absolutely seamlessly. The cover photo of the crescent Neptune and its moon is like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey and like many of the pictures in this book, is almost beyond belief. If, like me, you are a big fan of space and can't wait for humanity to get off this rock we call home and see what else is out there, then this is the book for you. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 March 2016
This large hardback book presents some fantastic images! Truly awe-inspiring.

Indeed, these are amongst the most beautiful planetary photos I've ever seen. The images cover the 8 main planets, and are of exceptional quality. If you're a fan of astronomy and/or planetary science, and enjoy looking at celestial photos, you'll love this book.

I wish I had adequate wall space to display all of these images in frames. I could sit and view them for hours.
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on 11 February 2006
I had always been a huge fan of space and astronomy, ever since I was a kid. Over the years, I'd seen countless images on television, on the Internet, in books, magazines and newspapers. I thought I'd become thoroughly familiar with the lunar surface, the valleys on Mars, the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. I thought I'd seen all the best photographs. I thought, there was little that could really surprise me anymore.
I was therefore STUNNED by the number of photographs in "Visions" which I'd never seen before, the sheer quality of each individual image, and the sense of "newness" they all brought. This book is a marvel! A simply amazing and beautiful collection of space images that will appeal to everyone.
I doubt you'll find a more impressive collection of photographs of our solar system anywhere. Please don't even hesitate to get this book... you won't be disappointed. The shots of Mars and the incredible variety of its landscapes and surface features are particularly mind-blowing, as are the numerous fold-out panoramas throughout the book.
Fully recommended!
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on 11 July 2005
This book is really a space buff's wet dream. I mean, there is not a single book on the market, anywhere, that has such gorgeous, exquisite and detailed pictures of the planets and moons of our solar system as this book has (made by Voyager, Galileo, Maggelan and the like). You just won't believe your eyes. And the essays of Benson (and those of Arthur C. Clarke and Lawrence Weschler) are also splendid, one by one. Convince yourself and surf to the website of Kinetikon Pictures to behold some of the photographs offered in this book and to read some of the essays (and even more). Robotic planetary photography made into (abstract expressionist and impressioinst) art, that is what Beyond is all about. Buy this hefty beast of a book before it is sold out.
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on 6 August 2005
Bit disappointed - was expecting a lot more information to go with the stunning scenes.
Knowledge always adds enormously to the enjoyment of subjects like this no matter how impressive or beautiful the eye candy is.
Also rather on the heavy side - but might provide some cardiovascular workout if you're a couch potato like me...
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on 17 November 2005
I have purchased quite a few books on Amazon that contain photographic documentation in Space but this by far is the best and most visually stunning.
I would highly recomend anyone to get this book and you will not be disappointed. It reminds us what a beautiful universe we are all part of and how beautiful things still remain outwith our own world.
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on 19 October 2009
This book is amazing, the pictures of the planets with the moons over them, are my faverite.

The pictures are clear, bright and stunning. Worth every penney :)
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on 14 September 2010
I have recently received a copy of Beyond - Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, and I am mightily impressed, as is my 7 year old daughter. The photos of all eight planets are exceptional, not to mention photos of Jupiter and Saturn's moons, such as Io, Europa and Titan. There are some fascinating panoramic shots on the surface of Mars, stunning pictures of solar flare activity and loads of other stuff. There are 30 or so pages of text at the back of the book (which I have not yet read). If you want to know more technical information about the solar system then this book should be bought in conjunction with another, possibly the DK illustrated Encyclopedia of the Universe. Despite a slight lack of textual information this is still a stunning book and at this price should not be ignored.
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on 3 December 2011
I bought this book based on others good recommendations, but having received the book I thought it was poor. There are much better solar system books on the market with better photos and they also have text. There is very little text in this book just a mixed bag of photos some with no caption. Overall there are far too many poor black and white photos, not enough colour ones.
There are 40 plus pages of photographs of the Earth and Moon which I thought was too much. The Earth photographs are poor and the Moon photos are also poor being old and taken in 1966 and 1967 and there are no lunar surface shots taken by astronauts, a surprising omission. There are 30 pages on Venus, surprisingly just one atmosphere photo, the rest are 1992 black white radar surface shots. These are okay, there is no text just titles. The Sun gets 15 pages and this colour section is good. Mercury gets 12 pages, just one colour photo and black and white pictures from 1974. Mars has 65 pages of photographs. There are loads of unlabeled black and white orbit photos of the Mars surface and the reader has no idea what they are looking at. A very poor selection of meaningless photographs. The limited number of colour photographs are much better. A big negative aspect is that there are only two pages of surface rover images included. There are 12 pages on asteroids with some good black and white photographs. There are around 60 pages of photos on the Jovian system and this is the best section of the book. Good colour photos of Jupiter. The colour pictures of Io would be good but they have been made too yellow. The many pictures of Europa are very good , but the photos are almost all disappointingly black and white. There are only 4 pictures of ganymede and just two of Callisto. Saturn gets a measily 20 pages, a massive disappointment of this book. Only the rings and planet are covered. A major omission is that there are no photograhs of Saturn's moons. The Uranus system is a very poor 6 pages, included in this is one picture of Ariel and just two pictures of Miranda. No ring pictures are included. Neptune gets 14 pages and the colour photographs are quite good. There are no photographs of the dwarf planets another poor omission. A couple of short essays finish off the book.
I think this is a poor solar system book with too many omissions and too many lacklustre black and white photographs. There is no astronomical text or data tables. The Saturn section was particularly poor. The Planets A Journey Through The Solar System by Giles Sparrow is a much better solar system book, with a much better choice of full colour pictures of all the solar sytem objects, there are no omissions in Giles Sparrow's book. The descriptions are much better to.
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on 3 October 2011
I purchased a NEW book but received a filthy, damaged and very OLD book.
Utterly disgraceful. I paid for a NEW book and received cheap tat in return.
This seller needs to sort themselves out, start treating their customers with some respect and stop tarring Amazon's name with the same cheap brush.
Disgusting.
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