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The Universe: 365 Days First Edition Edition
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This book is a collection of some of the very best pictures from that marvellous site. Most of the pictures are images of Very Cool Stuff from around the cosmos: comets whacking into Jupiter, galaxies forming, that sort of thing. And wow, it sure is _big_ out there.
The stuff close to home is fascinating enough in its own right that the book pays for itself with just the images from within our very own solar system. The shots of the other planets and their moons are culled from the various flyby missions and, naturally, they are _way_ better than anything that was available when I was a kid.
There are a few that are _very_ close to home, and these are cool too. Some show either the Earth (from orbit) or a view of its sky (during the Hale-Bopp visitation, for example). A handful are of other things entirely (including one of the most effective Magic Eye pictures I've ever seen).
They are all of them stunning, captivating, and gorgeous. If you aren't pretty much transfixed by this stuff, then you and I probably aren't from the same homeworld.
And the short commentary that accompanies each image was written by a qualified, competent astronomer. Does life _get_ any better than this?
Don't forget to visit the website, too. There are lots more images in its archives than would fit into this book.
The Universe: 365 Days is a print version of APoD, and it's one of the most gorgeous astronomy books I've ever seen. Open it up to any page: on your right is a full-page photograph, and on your left is a paragraph description about the picture. That's it, 365 pages of description/picture, rinse, repeat. Not much else to say. If you like pictures of space and astronomy, then you're going love it, page after page.
Because there are so many photographs, the authors were able to draw from a large pool of images. So, it isn't just the same old NASA/Hubble pictures that everyone uses, there are some from more obscure observatories and even amateur astronomers. There's a handy index at the back so you seek out images by topic.
I understand why they decided to go with the whole 365 days concept; it's a connection to their website. But then, it's not like you're going to read the book one day at a time, like some kind of yearlong astronomical advent calendar.
Let me just stick my drooling tongue back in my mouth for a second and let you know my complaints with the book. First, the text is really small. Unreasonably small considering that it's swimming in white space. The layout person should have been thinking about all the people who might be reading this book, and steered well away from 9 point font. My other complaint is that it feels fragile. Imagine you're holding a stack of nearly 400 photographs bound together on the left-hand side.Read more ›
As someone who knows very little about the universe, or astronomy, even with the descriptions next to the pictures I still wasn't always sure what I was looking at and how one picture was truly different from another. I understand that they look different and that they are pictures of very different parts of the universe, but the details are far beyond my comprehension. What is not beyond my comprehension is the fact that these are stunningly beautiful pictures. Even simple pictures that we may have seen many times before, like a picture of our planet from space, is striking and beautiful. Others are of star clusters and galaxies that are so far away and so alien that it boggles the mind to know that there are places like this out there and we really know nothing about what it would be like to travel there.
This book can be read as a calendar, where you flip the page each day and see what new photograph is waiting. It can be read like that, but I couldn't imagine only looking at one of these pictures a day. After seeing one picture, I just had to turn the page to see what wonder was waiting for me, and almost without exception, there was a wonder on every page. Beautiful space photography (though some are on Earth, and others looking out from Earth). If that sounds interesting, this collection is probably for you.
They had to fill this book with 365 photos and I say 250 of them are not worth spending any amount of money on, because they're free on the internet or the quality is terrible or simply because they've been available in other (and better) books for several decades now and the writer didn't bother getting updated versions of those old photos. As an example, on Nov. 27, there's the famous "Earth at Night" photo. I already have the photo as a desktop image (it's widely available on the net) and it looks better on my computer than in the book, which is murky and lacks detail.
The Universe: 365 Days is just not what I expected. The concept is actually cool but the execution is very uneven and at times poor. I would have left it at the bookstore if I initially had the chance to look inside it before purchasing it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Also a beautiful book. I'll be getting it and "Astronomy 365 Days" out again and again to look through.Published 24 days ago by Genevieve Neff
I have loved anything to do with space travel and exploring the cosmos all my life. In fact, as a young boy I wanted to become an astronomer but my life turned into other... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Joseph J. Truncale
I just loved this book. Highly recommended for other readers. The book takes you through the world of its own in the Universe we live in.Published on December 2, 2013 by Trajan
With all the Hubble Telescope pics out there and talk of the Mars Rover, outer space is a wonderful subject of art and interest. Read morePublished on November 11, 2012 by Patricia R. Dumond
I use the book each morning when I do my study time and journaling and I love it. It is a great reminder of the vastness of the universe, the Creator, and my very small existence... Read morePublished on February 17, 2012 by Jeremy Z
This is a great book with excellent, brief and concise explinations which people such as myself (not an astronomer or physisit or scientist) can understand. Read morePublished on September 11, 2011 by JesseArizona
I bought this book because I'm learning how to paint space scenes in Photoshop and needed a good reference book. Read morePublished on October 28, 2010 by Laurie E. Thompson
I bought this book over a year ago and I still pick it up. From Apollo to Hubble, the 365 images are breathtaking.Published on February 12, 2009 by Ian R. Bruce