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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
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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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2012
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2014
First thing first, for about $20, you won't ever be able to find a book that will feed your imagination like "Hubble's Universe".
Find a nice place under a tree, feel the wind caress your face, the silence only broken by the occasionnal bird. Open this wonderful book and enjoy a ride that will astonish your senses.

Clear, colorful, enchanting pictures of far far far away galaxies, nebulas and clusters in their incomparable magnificence, Unimaginables wonders right in front of your eyes for you to enjoy and cherish; that's what "Hubble's Universe" is all about.

HIGHLY recommended for the simply curious, the novice, the occasionnal astronomer and experts alike!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
XXXXX

"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. Astronomers didn't know whether planets orbited other stars. Even the age of the universe was uncertain by a large margin."

(3) "Astronomy is a pre-eminently a visual science. Astronomers cannot collect rocks for analysis...or test chemical reactions in a lab. Everything must be deduced from the light that is emitted or reflected from far away in space."

(4) "Our Galaxy's industry is making stars. If we could view our Galaxy from high above [its]...stellar disk, it would resemble a sprawling city with a bright downtown hub, burgeoning suburbs of Sun-like stars, and avenues of young blue stars and nebulas. Interspersed are the raw materials for making stars: huge clouds of cold hydrogen gas laced with dust."

(5) "Stars are the universe's basic building blocks and, in many ways, are fundamental to the existence of planets and life in the universe. Over billions of years, they have collected themselves into a hierarchy of structures, star clusters, galaxies, and immense clusters of galaxies."

(6) "When [most stars'] nuclear fusion fuel is exhausted , they slowly fade to black. But...there are exceptions to this scenario. Some stars, particularly the most massive ones, end with a bang or a series of violent death throes. The death of a star occasionally produces a detonation so powerful, it can be seen halfway across the universe."

(7) "As spectacular as it looks in Hubble's views, the universe remains largely hidden from us. Its 10 billion trillion stars are the only truly luminous form of matter in the cosmos. They are essentially lights draped over an unseen structure. All the stars and galaxies represent only a fraction of the mass of the entire assembly. The rest of the scaffolding is made up of a mysterious substance called dark matter."

(8) "Galaxies are the majestic city-states of the universe. Astronomers estimate there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the known universe. Yet less than a century ago, astronomers knew of just one galaxy: our Milky Way."

(9) "Although the [HST] was designed to probe the most distant reaches of the universe, it also provides exquisitely sharp views of the Earth's companion worlds in the solar system."

(10) "Hubble's cosmic portfolio is full of grand views of familiar celestial objects: galaxies, nebulas, planets, and myriad stars. But some Hubble images are downright bizarre...Among the strangest pictures are those of events that come and go unexpectedly. Many of these we've never seen or not seen clearly, until Hubble's sharp vision was turned on them."

Finally, this book is like a one-volume library of Hubble's achievements and a complete record of the HST's enormous contribution to astronomy.

In conclusion, I can't say it enough. This book is SPECTACULAR! I cannot thank award-winning astronomy writer Terence Dickinson enough for providing to the citizens of planet Earth this informative, captivating, astonishing, and beautiful book of the Hubble Space Telescope's greatest discoveries and latest images!!

(first published 2012; acknowledgements; introduction; 10 chapters; main narrative 295 pages; resources; index; photo credits; about the author)

<<Stephen PLETKO, London, Ontario, Canada>>

XXXXX
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2014
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
The photos are magnificent. You can not imagine what is out there. Spellbinding! You will not be disappointed. x z
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2014
I bought this for my Kindle Fire HD expecting full screen detailed and sharp HD pictures of God's great universe. Instead the book has tiny pictures -- in some cases 1 inch by 1 inch. And they are not expandable. The text is good and informative without being overly technical. But go with the old fashioned physical book version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Stunning pictures, with accompanying text that explains what we're seeing. The pictures are arresting in themselves, but the text makes them an easy road into the mindbending world of cosmology.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2013
Got this for my husband for father's day! He loved it....gave it to him early and he has been reading it constantly....I sure made the right choice. The book is brilliantly illustrated and clearly written and explained. It is more than a "coffee table" book - it is a permanent resource book for young and old alike! Definitely for anyone who love the vastness of the universe and the wonders of space. A must see book! You will never forget the magnificent images that Hubble has captured!
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