The Art World
For the past four decades, robotic spacecraft have been taking snapshots of our solar system, mostly with a scientific agenda—to gather data about our celestial neighborhood. But as writer and filmmaker Michael Benson shows in Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes (Abrams, $55), these images are also works of art. For the most part, Benson lets the pictures (295 of them) speak for themselves, but he also offers some explanations and reflections in a few short chapters at the end of the book. It’s a dramatic presentation.
Image at right: Dual crescents of Neptune and Triton, taken by Voyager 2.
Images at bottom, left to right: the enormous "Valley of the Mariner" canyon system on Mars, taken by Viking Orbiter 1; Jupiter with Io and Europa, taken by Voyager 1; the Great Lakes, taken by OrbView-2.