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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Another "Must-Buy" Michael Benson Masterpiece
Michael Benson's new photo-essay book about our Solar System is of the same high quality as his two previous masterworks, "Beyond" and "Far Out."

His previous work, "Far Out," covered the enormous size and timescape of the entire universe, as it is perceived by us.

This time, in "Planetfall," Benson returns home to our own cosmic backyard. He...
Published on November 13, 2012 by Douglas

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but hard to ship without damaging it.
The photographs are very nice, but sadly, the cover and binding of the book suffered a small amount of damage while being shipped. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but as this is a coffee-table type book, it is more of a disappointment.
Published 22 months ago by suedendy


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Another "Must-Buy" Michael Benson Masterpiece, November 13, 2012
By 
Douglas (Falls Church, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Michael Benson's new photo-essay book about our Solar System is of the same high quality as his two previous masterworks, "Beyond" and "Far Out."

His previous work, "Far Out," covered the enormous size and timescape of the entire universe, as it is perceived by us.

This time, in "Planetfall," Benson returns home to our own cosmic backyard. He reveals the Solar System to us using the latest images from the most recent generation of planetary explorers, most notably the Cassini Spacecraft's stunning images of Jupiter and Saturn. There are also magnificent images of the Sun (which are the best I have ever seen published in any book), of Mars, and of our own planet Earth and its moon, taken from other space probes.

This book concentrates on those newer, deep-space images of the planets (and some of their moons) that many Americans may not have seen yet in other books, and also adds some of the best images from the surface of Mars taken recently by the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. He skips Mercury and Venus, but that did not bother me because there is not much to see there, and this left more room for the stunning images of Jupiter and Saturn, Mars, and the Earth, which are the cornerstone of the book.

The book is light on text and heavy on imagery, and I found it just the right balance for this type of "coffee table book." Benson allows us to see our Solar System as we would if we were space voyagers on an interstellar mission, arriving at our solar system without ever having seen it before. The book is first and foremost a visual feast.

But the relatively brief essays are still insightful, even poetic, and relate the images in the book to our modern imaginations, fueled by our popular culture and how we were raised on science fiction.

"Planetfall" is an extremely large format book, larger in size and much wider than even Benson's previous works, "Far Out" and "Beyond." The extra large size of the color plates helps the reader appreciate the majesty of the images. You can mentally immerse yourself in its pages.

If you don't have this book and you are a lover of astronomy books, get it. If you already own it, buy it for someone as a Holiday gift, and open their eyes to the stunning beauty of our own solar system. Your sense of wonder will be refreshed and renewed by this wondrous photo essay depicting ourselves, and our immediate neighbors in the cosmos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very cool, December 12, 2012
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Unbelievably wonderful pictures. Most big glossy books of space photos pass right by our solar system so it was pretty amazing to see how much beauty is right here in our neighborhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Photography, January 15, 2013
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Many of the pictures in this book are breathtakingly beautiful. Totally worth it. My very minor gripes are: First, I wish it was more comprehensive in its coverage of the solar system. There isn't really any coverage of Mercury, Venus, Uranus, or Neptune (or the demoted Pluto), but not many nice pictures of those exist at anywhere on Earth anyway. Also, it sounds like Benson almost intended this book as an addendum to his other solar system book, "Beyond". Maybe there's more comprehensive coverage there. Second, the captions are all in the very back of the book. It's a little frustrating trying to flip through the pictures and read the captions at the same time. Third, many of the Earth photos are of smoke from burning forests. Benson pessimistically focuses on that a little more than I would like.

Overall, though, my complaints are very minor. This book is full of stunning photos of the celestial bodies of our solar system. Enjoy them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of Being In Your Collection of Astronomical Photography Books, November 12, 2012
By 
JLJ (Orlando, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
This book is worthy of being in your collection of astronomical photography books, because it offers so many super-high-resolution photographs of the planets and the sun. There are no photos of stars (other than our own sun), no nebula or constellations or galaxies... just our own neighboring planets - that is the focus of this particular book. This book offers us the best available collection of the photos that have been taken within the past ten years only. One should bear in mind that some of the greatest astronomic photographs are more than ten years old, and so by definition, they will not be part of this book that covers just the past decade of astronomical planetary photography.
I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 stars because I am a bit disappointed that the majority of the pictures are ultra-close-ups on parts of a planet or ring system showing just a very limited range of colors (for example: just black and white and blue.... or just black and white and amber). Also, many of the photos actually don't seem to be extremely high resolution. (Though many others, such as the surface of the sun, or the surface of mars, are strikingly high-resoloution and spectacular). This is not the fault of the author / publisher / compiler... that's just the way it is, and this book catalogs and showcases the past ten years of planetary photography as well as one could possible realistically hope that it would.
If you are looking for a book that shows the colorful awesomeness and jaw-dropping beauty of the universe... a book that focusses more on parts of the universe far more distant (star clusters and nebulae) has more "wow" factor than this book. But if you would like a compendium of the best of planetary photography over just the past ten years... you cannot do better than this very well-done volume.
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5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, June 22, 2014
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Excellent. Perfect coffee table book. I have 30 to 35 astronomy books and exceeded my expectations. One on my favorites. GREAT BOOK.!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, January 9, 2014
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Exceptional imagery, completely breathtaking two-page shots. A beautiful testament to the glory of creation. This will go on my coffee table someday.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, August 22, 2013
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Gorgeous book, takes you through planet by planet. I wish there were captions on each page with a little info.

Still awesome and perfect for the coffee table.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Quality, June 18, 2013
This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
Incredible photographs
Great update in Astronomy 101
I appreciated it the first time I read it and keep going back to the book periodically
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5.0 out of 5 stars great gift, April 15, 2013
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
I bought it for my girlfriend, she loves space and this book has incredible photos, some of which span across two pages. really stunning book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing pictures, March 1, 2013
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This review is from: Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Hardcover)
What can you say about these pictures of orbs in space, including ours? Everyone should see these, over and over. A real gift to the imagination.
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Planetfall: New Solar System Visions
Planetfall: New Solar System Visions by Michael Benson (Hardcover - October 1, 2012)
$55.00 $33.13
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