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Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images Hardcover – September 6, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1770851078 ISBN-10: 1770851070

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (September 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770851070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770851078
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Hubble Space Telescope, which prolific astronomy writer Dickinson calls a “remarkable discovery machine,” has been orbiting the earth since 1990, inspiring many a book showcasing its astrophotography. What makes this superbly well-produced volume unique is its presentation of 300 images that have never been made public before. Dickinson’s expert and enthusiastic commentary also makes the Hubble wondrous all over again. He explains the 2009 “reboot” and how astronomers use a process called drizzling to create Hubble’s astonishingly sharp images, such as a staggering two-page look at “a small segment of the night sky the size of a period in this book held at arm’s length,” filled with thousands of galaxies, each containing billions of stars. Dickinson elucidates Hubble’s “top discoveries,” from proof that “supermassive black holes are common in galaxies” to success in measuring the universe’s expansion rate. With images of the birth and death of stars and the marvelous shapes nebulae take, reflected in such names as Helix, Jewel Box, Loch Ness, and Cat’s Eye, any engagement with this “cosmic portfolio,” from picture gazing to deep reading, is grandly rewarded. --Donna Seaman


Part gorgeous coffee-table book, [part] mesmerizing astronomy book, Dickinson's latest is a treasure map to the majesty of our universe. (Publisher's Weekly 2012-09-17)

Hubble's Universe....a reminder that the finest telescope in space might also be the greatest camera ever created. (The Wall Street Journal 2012-09-29)

Superbly well-produced. Any engagement with this "cosmic portfolio," from picture gazing to deep reading, is grandly rewarded. (Donna Seaman Booklist 2012-12-01)

A visually breathtaking array of Hubble's images in an extraordinary new volume...a book to fill readers with wonder. (Steven W. Beattie Quill and Quire 2012-11-29)

{starred review) Dickinson details the Hubble Space Telescope's contributions to science in both text and images. The book's precise descriptions and captions brilliantly complement the nearly 300 full-color Hubble images that form the bulk of the work. Its ten chapters showcase a selection of Hubble's most significant images with explanations of the discoveries they helped make. Especially fantastic are the images of solar wind stripping away large gas clouds that harbor stellar nurseries; images of Hubble's deep field, revealing galaxy clusters from halfway across the universe; and sublime images of vast, colorful nebulas.... Dickinson explains how all the photographed objects fit into scientists' understanding of cosmology, adding extra context to the pictures. Even if you only look at the pictures, this is an amazing book. The accompanying text and photo captions make the work outstanding. (Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado Denver Libra Library Journal 2013-01-01)

At first glance, some readers might consider this a coffee table book with just a bunch of pretty pictures--the color images are very high quality--but the substantial captions for the images are extremely well written. Though readers can find many of the images online, they will not get the same lucid descriptions of the science behind the research of each astronomical object... This book will be useful as a supplementary resource for students in introductory astronomy courses. Hopefully, it will motivate more students to learn about the amazing universe that they live in. Highly recommended. (R. Kraus, University of Denver Choice 2013-06-01)

A very well done exploration of the telescope, its uses, its history, its astonishing achievements, and its unique place in the science of astronomical observation. The spectacular pictures are certainly a major feature of the book.... A particularly impressive chapter explains six of Hubble's top discoveries that would not have been possible with earthbound telescopes... The science in it is excellent, as a layman's introduction to some otherwise difficult concepts... highly recommended for both the casual reader and the serious lover of astronomy. (John 0. Christensen, Brigham Young University, Pro Science Books and Film 2013-02-01)

For those who never liked astronomy in school, this book will change your opinion. Outer space never looked so magnificent, and this book brings it all into crystal clear perspective. (Shelf Life 2013-01-01)

Stunningly colourful and surreal photos of cosmic columns, spiral galaxies, nebulas and pulsating stars...accompanied by clear, accessible explanatory text. (Globe and Mail, Christmas 2012 Gift Book List 2012-12-08)

You won't find a better celestial tour guide than Dickinson. Pick up Hubble's Universe and enjoy the ride. (John McPhee Halifax Chronicle Herald 2012-12-09)

The science in it is excellent, as a layman's introduction to some otherwise difficult concepts.... Highly recommended. (John O. Christensen Science Books and Film 2012-11-01)

The array of pictures is simply awesome... This book is basically a feast of astrophotography. (Evan Gough Universe Today 2012-12-05)

This catalogue of discoveries made thanks to the Hubble telescope works just as well as an otherworldly art book. (David Fuller Winnipeg Free Press 2012-12-01)

There's a new Hubble picture book every year, but this year we're lucky to have one authored by the guy who wrote NightWatch and The Universe and Beyond. (Alan Boyle Cosmic Log on NBC 2012-12-19)

Dickinson showcases extraordinary late-breaking pictures, many of which have yet to receive wide distribution...and presents a breathtaking portfolio drawn from an archive of over 500,000 existing Hubble images. The accompanying text balances accuracy with accessibility, Dickinson's hallmark. And thanks to the author's familiarity with Hubble's history and discoveries and his access to top Hubble scientists for insight and accuracy, the text includes facts and tidbits not found in any other book. Combined with hundreds of brilliant images, the clear narrative brings to life the fascinating forces at work in the universe. (Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin 2012-11-01)

Astronomy has long been recognized as 'bait', dangled in front of children, in particular, to lure them into science more generally; and one of the facets that has always been especially tempting is the beauty of its subjects of study. Well, here is a veritable feast, culled principally from the Hubble Space Telescope and presented by a deft practitioner of outreach from Canada, Terence Dickinson. With perfect timing and a price that is an absolute snip, this dazzling book would be an ideal Christmas gift for anyone, young or old. A wide and very up-to-date range of topics in astronomy is covered, from planets of the Solar System to the remotest galaxies captured in the Ultra-Deep Field, each with stunning and crisply reproduced images accompanied by lucid text to place them in the context of the advances afforded by the HST; those images of nebulae and star clusters would be worthy of an honoured place in any great art gallery. The chequered history of the telescope itself is also treated, with the conclusion very clear -- it has been an absolute boon to astronomy and, I would add, to civilization more generally. In summary: superb! (David Strickland The Observatory, Volume 134, No. 1243 2014-12-01)

More About the Author

Terence Dickinson is a prolific science writer specializing in astronomy. More than one million copies of his 15 books are in print in five languages. His best-known book, NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe, is widely regarded as the essential guidebook for beginning stargazers. More info:

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Customer Reviews

Another excellent astronomy book by Terence Dickinson.
Dr. Joe
So much to see and read -- it's really a lifetime's worth of pictures!
Nancy M. Capps
This is an excellent book for both the text and the pictures.
Richard Cone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Hubble Space Telescope has been in service since 1990. The telescope weighs 12 tons, is the size of a bus, has a 2.4 meter mirror (vs. 8 - 10 on the largest Earth-bound telescopes), and observes in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared spectra. The Hubble is located in an orbit about 330 miles above the Earth's atmosphere. Adaptive optics and computer programming is now able to remove much of the blur caused by the Earth's atmospheric turbulence, but the Hubble still has an advantage in that it is not impeded by any background glow in the sky. It can resolve a pair of fireflies six feet part at the distance of NYC - Tokyo. Originally it's mirror was unable to focus properly due to a grinding error - incredibly new optical components with the exact same error in the opposite sense were able to correct the problem when installed in a later mission.

NASA plans to add a new space telescope (James Webb Space Telescope) with a 6.5 meter mirror and half the mass of the Hubble; expenditures are now capped at $11 billion by Congress.

The book contains over 300 cosmic photos selected by the author, some taken as recently as spring 2012. The first photo is that of star cluster Messier 9, about 250,000 light-years from Earth, discovered in 1764 as a faint smudge. The Hubble portrait of this cluster reveals 250,000 individual stars in its entirety. The second shows the interstellar gas blast wave from a 400+ year ago supernova blast. Other photos show galaxies almost 100 million light-years away - an incredible distance.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dan Hawkins on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I only write a review when something is truly outstanding - and this is certainly one of those books. Large format so the pictures have great detail, excellent printing and hardcover, and the text is intelligent but geared to the layperson. Any astronomy person will LOVE this book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mclaussen on November 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Hubble's Universe every night and was just amazed at the science and technology behind this venture. Just gazing at the fold out of the thousands
of galaxies throughout the distant universe, gave me pause for reflection. I highly recommend this book for the sheer beauty of the pictures if that is all you do is to look at the pictures. Read the story behind the pictures and the history that the author has painstakingly put together, it will bring more clarity to the workings of Hubble and the team 'on earth' who bring us the simplicity of beauty.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. Oldenburg on November 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photos are magnificent. You can not imagine what is out there. Spellbinding! You will not be disappointed. x z
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover

"In addition to being one of the greatest scientific instruments of all time, the Hubble Space Telescope's [HST] has given humanity a spectacular legacy of beautiful images of the universe. The best of these are displayed--and explained--in this book."

The above is found in the introduction of this mesmerizing and informative book by Terence Dickinson. He is the author of fifteen astronomy books. He was at one time staff astronomer at planetariums in Toronto and Rochester, New York. Dickinson has received numerous awards including the New York Academy of Sciences' Book of the Year Award. He has an asteroid named after him.

This book is divided into two intermingled parts: (1) images or photographs (2) text.

The images are fantastic. They are of the HST's greatest discoveries and latest images. This book contains more than 300 HST colour image. Note that a few images are not from the HST.

The text contains very comprehensive descriptions and explanations with supportive interpretive illustrations. All descriptions and explanations are grounded in science. I, personally, learned quite a bit from reading this text.

The quotation that begins this review is an example of a brief description that is located at the beginning of the introduction. Such a description is found at the beginning of each chapter:

(1) "The flagship of NASA's Great Observatory program, the [HST] is one of the most ambitious, legendary, and nail-biting science endeavours in human history. The payoff has been immeasurable: Hubble has given us the universe."

(2) "The universe was a different place in 1990, the year the [HST] was launched. The most powerful telescopes on Earth could see only halfway across the universe.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. Eibisch on January 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a book at Amazon a couple of years ago called "Far Out" by Michael Benson and it has some truly amazing images in it. I thought maybe this will be as good as it gets for consumer Astronomy picture books. It has now been surpassed. Just recently I bought "Hubble's Universe" by Terence Dickinson and am now finished the book. Every time you turn a page is WOW!!!! moment in your life. The images in this book are just stunning. Terence writes in a non-technical very reader friendly style and I've a couple of his books from the past but this thing has got to be the greatest astronomy picture book to be found. We see a lot of bad things in the news media about some people but this book is representative of some of mankind's highest achievements. The ability to create a technology in order to "see" objects that are hundreds of thousands of light years across and hundreds of millions of light years distant in such stunning detail is truly a unique human trait. Reading through this book is very humbling in that we humans are contemplating the unbelievably vast oceans of space, time and matter and we are insignificant bits of dust on Earth with extremely limited time spans. But we can also feel a sense of pride in our teams of scientists and engineers... and the every day tax-payers supporting them, who have enabled such a wonderful view of the cosmos. It would be a waste of time and money to buy a Kindle version of this book as the colourful images is what this book is about. You need the physical book for this one. Truly wonderful !!!! (Absolutely awesome !!! for residents of the USA)
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