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on 13 September 2007
This is a gorgeous book. If you are looking for a gift for someone who's into astronomy this the perfect book- it was a Christmas present given to me and I absolutely love it. In terms of beauty there is no better book you can find, amazing pictures and lots of information- which is easily absorbed and not too dry or difficult to understand. Absolutely recommended.
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on 31 December 2008
I must have a re-print of this book because the venus orbit error is not present in my copy. However, there are still a few numerical errors here and there. In one of the paragraphs the author states that Earth traverses a circular orbit with a diameter of 300 million km and then puts in brackets (186,000 miles). Last time I checked 300 million kilometers was 186 million miles. It's unfortunate but superficial as a whole.

This book has the most amazing photography I have ever seen on this subject, that alone is worth the purchase. Buy it.
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on 18 January 2010
THIS BOOK IS..WOW. its the thoughts it prokes . the pictures are of such quality , and i definatley think its the best £25 i ever spent , it gives me such perspective on life , and even does well on bad days .
when looking at the pictures , you feel the energy created by the universe and it also makes you realise what can be achieved , and that there is no point in being lame in life..................alot for a book to do i kno...but if you on it you will understand, if not your missing out.
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on 22 December 2011
This book needs to be reviewed in the context of being a visual journey through the universe with a bit of information added to help with the context. My 80 year old mother was just as enthralled as my 4 year old nephew. (he loved looking at the galaxies "far, far, away"!)
If you are looking for a pictorial reference guide to the universe then you will not be disappointed.
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on 7 May 2012
What an amazingly well published book: sleek, glossy black pages; beautiful, full-colour photographs; enough information to inform without become endless text and essays!

Mine arrived with some slight damage but Amazon were great - offering an immediate replacement or discount.

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on 6 December 2014
What an incredible book. Some really interesting factual information besides a splendidly put together picture fest.
Well worth the purchase.
It's a BIG book too! High resolution images at their best.
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on 2 November 2006
I've seen many astronomy books that purport to illustrate our universe from the solar system outwards, and usually been disappointed. Too often they feature outdated pictures, or have poor reproduction.

To be honest, the blurb does this book a slight injustice. This isn't a field guide (although it is comprehensive in the subjects it covers) - if you didn't know what a globular cluster was before purchase, you probably won't afterwards either. Accompanying text is informative but fairly brief.

This is astronomy porn. This book reproduces, with superb detail and clarity, huge format (36 x 44cm) up-to-date images from Hubble and the latest crop of solar system probes, including Cassini and the Mars rovers. Even the microwave background image is from WMAP. All bases are covered, from the planetary satellites to 2MASS and the Hubble ultra deep field.

The cover price is actually UKP50, making this an absolute bargain. Many of the pictures are printed full-page, and I'm very tempted to buy a second copy to use as a bargain source of astronomy posters...
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on 28 August 2007
The photographs are superb, and with a little contemplation, inevitably mind-blowing. I also found the structure of the book very helpful to understand the context of all the phenomena. My copy certainly doesn't have the graphical errors on pp10-11 described in other reviews, and I haven't come across any obvious typos yet, so maybe there were some early editions out there? (although mine is not described as a reprint or anything like that).
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on 16 October 2010
A great book with loads of info and amazing pictures. Shame about the mistakes though, for instance on pg 58 the scale of the diagram on Jovian moons is all out and conflicts with the information given in the text. Otherwise a great book.
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on 1 December 2006
I have more "coffee table" books on Astronomy than I do surface area on my coffee tables. This book makes it so I could get rid of all the rest as it is not only more complete but more beautiful than the rest combined.

There are some errors in it that make absolutely no sense why they were made (spelling and the Venusian orbit issue listed above). However... the science is solid and more importantly for a book like this, the images are unmatched in print.

Just like any book of this type, fingerprints on the pages are inevitable and annoying against a black background, but I wouldn't trade for white backgrounds because these images need the black to really show their visual range.

The information is also very current. Pluto is not considered a planet, the idea of neutrinos contributing to Dark Matter, and a host of other relatively recent developments are included. The progression is also very clean and straight forward starting at earth and progressing out to the large scale of the universe, which is something most of these books don't spend enough time on despite it being one of the most fascinating developments in cosmology recently.

If you want to learn the science, this isn't quite the book you're looking for. It's awkward to hold for long reading sessions due to the size, and not exceptionally in depth. However, the images can't be beat (not until Hubble's replacement goes live in a few years) and the science is comprehensive enough to let you know what you are looking at.
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