To gaze at the stars is to look at the infinite wonder of the universe. To capture the details and beauty of the night sky in photographs is a tantalizing scientific art that many attempt and few master. That rare mastery is on full display in this gallery of spectacular portraits taken by the most accomplished astrophotographers in the world. Turn the pages for a breathtaking showcase of aurora, constellations, comets, eclipses, the sun, the moon, planets, galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae. This stunning volume is essential for every stargazer’s bookshelf.
About the Author
Robert Gendler is the world’s leading amateur astrophotographer. A physician who spends his free time taking pictures of the night sky, he is the author and photographer of A Year in the Life of the Universe, and his images appear regularly in Sky & Telescope magazine. He lives in Avon, Connecticut. www.robgendlerastropics.com/
Foreword writer Neil deGrasse Tyson is a professional astrophysicist. He is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and the host of NOVA scienceNOW on PBS. Tyson is the author of nine books on the universe, most recently Death by Black Hole and The Pluto Files. He lives in New York City.
This is a great book for browsing and for getting inspiration. There is a wide variety of photographs covering the sun, planets, aurora, meteors, comets and deep sky objects of all types. There are some very nice fusions of landscape and sky. This is essentially a picture book and such books stand or fall on the quality and merits of their pictures. This book passes such a test with ease. The pictures themselves are of a quality that is achieved by only a select few and the quality of reproduction is excellent. Each picture is accompanied by a succinct description of the object.
However I do have some criticisms. Nowhere are there any details of the exposure or of the telescope used. It would have been nice to have an appendix with this information and perhaps also an indication of the scale. The page numbering system is a little odd. Pages 1-8 occur before the list of contents. Also, in many cases the pictures cover the whole page and in this case the page numbers are not printed. This means having to search for a numbered page and then counting from there to locate a particular page number.
I have noticed some glaring and quite inexplicable factual errors in the figure captions. On Page 41 there is a picture of a crescent moon, 3 or 4 days old. The caption says"Earth's shadow transforms the lunar surface into a stark and desolate landscape of mountains, valleys and craters". What is this supposed to mean? The Earth's shadow has got nothing to do with the visibility of features on a crescent moon. On Page 42, there is a picture of a transit of Mercury. The caption is quite explicit that what is seen is the SHADOW of Mercury on the sun and not Mercury itself.
However these are relatively minor points and this is a book which I have no hesitation in recommending.
This book is a compilation of the best of the best! I highly recommend it to everyone. The labor of love that went into making these images is astounding. I do astrophotograhy myself and I can understand the efforts invloved. However, I do wish more technical details were given explaining how (exposures, imagers, processing, telescopes, and mounts) these fantastic images were aquired. I look forward to a sequel! Bob
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In Capturing The Stars, Robert Gendler exposes a deep passion for the cosmos and astronomy. The book is a stunning exposé of professional and amature astronomers, laced with dazzling images of the visible universe. This is not meant to be a technical manual or teaching tool. It is a beautiful display of love that the author holds for the universe and astronomy. I highly recommend this book. - William James
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