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BOOK REVIEW

The Art World

Michael Szpir

Dual crescents of Neptune and Triton . . .Click to Enlarge Image

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.

The enormous Click to Enlarge Image Jupiter with Io and Europa . . .Click to Enlarge Image Voyager 2; the Great Lakes . . .Click to Enlarge Image
 

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African Penguins"Penguins are 10 times older than humans and have been here for a very, very long time," said Daniel Ksepka, Ph.D., a North Carolina State University research assistant professor. Dr. Ksepka researches the evolution of penguins and how they came to inhabit the African continent.

Because penguins have been around for over 60 million years, their fossil record is extensive. Fossils that Dr. Ksepka and his colleagues have discovered provide clues about migration patterns and the diversity of penguin species.

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