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on December 19, 2012
I was eager to get my hands on this new book, which promised to be a nice gift for my cousin and a few other precocious kids I know. But the book is seriously marred by a gutter problem, where many of the maps and illustrations are cut in half! The most interesting parts are trapped in the middle of the tight book binding. In some cases, you can't even see the sun, because it's stuck in the gutter. This is a real shame, since it's obvious that the production values are otherwise very good. The maps of the planets are among the best I've ever seen. The text by Trefil is basic but solid. It's too bad that somebody at National Geographic didn't anticipate these complaints and compensate for the otherwise handsome design by a lay-flat binding or by adding a center gap to compensate for what's missing in the folds. Maybe this systematic shortcoming can be corrected in a new printing. If that's the case, I'll surely want a replacement copy.
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on November 17, 2012
I ordered this book as soon as I read about it, and I was not much disappointed when I received it. It certainly invites browsing, and many of the articles are not particularly long but give all the pertinent data. My only complaint (and I hope the NGS reads this), and reason I cannot give the Space Atlas five stars, is that book does not open flat. A book this size (and price) should open and fold flat on the table. The large 2-page planet maps are split down the middle with the spine of the book running through them, making it difficult to see the topography in the center of the planets. This does not affect the smaller satellite (moon) maps which fit on a single page. The fantastic hardcover Nasa Atlas of the Solar System (1997) also had this problem but resolved it neatly by having the enormous pages fold open completely flat. Nevertheless, I will keep the Space Atlas and refer to it often.
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on October 12, 2013
This is a beautiful book which gives the reader a great "big picture " view of the universe. My only complaint is that several of the highly detailed graphics span two pages, and some information is buried in the binding, since the book doesn't open flat.

Update July 20,2014 There is a paperback version of this book which is showing up in the clearance section of large book stores. The paperback version opens flat and has no binding problems.
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on December 1, 2012
This is a great resource for those who are interested is astronomy, cosmology, and astrophysics topics. The book is large
and heavy and full of many useful resources. One I find most useful is the topography of the planets derived from satellite
imaging. This allows us to see the planets like we have never seen them before. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is into the topic of astronomy and related fields. As an astronomy instructor I will find this book very helpful and an exquisite visual reference to many topics discussed in class.
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on January 24, 2014
I would give it a five star because the book it self with all the content, photos and illustrations are very good. However the binding for this book was poorly done. in every page you lose a good portion of the vibrant visuals because a lagre part of them are lost in the binding. you cant open it flat all the way to see the whole picture. on one page with an layout of the solar system you lose the sun and the inner planets. I almost don't like it all.
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on January 3, 2013
I purchased this book as a gift for my husband and he was "Wowed" by it. Breath-taking photographs. Stunning aerials. Informative dialog. Fascinating facts. He couldn't put it down, and can't wait to read the complete volume cover to cover.
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on March 9, 2016
Very nice book, bought used and appears to be as new. Thanks. I agree with many other reviews about the charts and maps being stuck in the spine of the book. This is the one flaw of the book as I see it. If there is a spiral bound version that might correct this flaw. Otherwise it promises to be a good read. Would recommend just on it's up to date info on the solar system, etc.
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on June 9, 2015
I read the reviews about some information lost in the center binding. The book is great but for that reason I chose to buy a used version at a reduced price. It does not have as many of the great Hubble shots as David Devorkin's book Hubble. You may want both.
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on February 5, 2015
This book is totally breathtaking! I bought it as a Christmas gift for someone and ended up getting absorbed in the pictures and wished I didn't have to give it to him! It's gorgeous and gives a great visual representation of how vast, beautiful, and unexplored our universe really is.
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on February 23, 2013
I bought this book for a friend who's an avid astronomy learner/lover.

The rating proves my point. He was completely head-over-heels for the book and couldn't keep his eyes off it.

The hardcover looks amazing, the pages are nice, quality wise, and the skin for the hardcover was pretty awesome too.

Thanks!
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