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BOOK REVIEW

Our Photogenic Neighbors

Click to Enlarge ImageMoon panorama.Click to Enlarge Image

Michael Light's Full Moon (Knopf, $50) is a spectacular, crater-to-crater photographic history of NASA moon missions. Its absorbing pullout panoramas, like the one below, odd angles and close-ups that reveal quirky details, such as an astronaut’s family snapshot next to his moon-dust footprint, create a singular lunar experience for those of us who haven’t been there.

Click to Enlarge ImageClick to Enlarge Image

Yale's The Planets ($35) (facing page: Jupiter and its icy moon Europa) is part solar-system encyclopedia, part coffee-table companion to the eponymous BBC-TV series that will make its U.S. debut on A&E this fall.


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Alvin Sub

Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.

Heather Olins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, studies microbial ecology at deep sea hydrothermal vents with the help of Alvin, and shares her personal tribute to the submersible on these landmark occasions.

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