Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BEYOND by Michael Benson


A Solar System Voyage

by Michael Benson

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8322-9
Publisher: Abrams

This bargain edition of Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes (2003) may lack the double gatefolds, more than half of the pictures and the Arthur C. Clarke introduction, but it does still offer a mesmerizing grand tour of solar-system high spots. Gathered with the premise that they are significant achievements in the history of not just science, but photography as well, these big, sharply detailed images were all taken by (specified) space probes and were chosen for their visual impact. Arranged roughly in the order in which they were taken, the photos range from a primitive 1967 composite shot of the Moon to haunting close-up views of mysterious Neptune and its moon Triton taken by Voyager 2 in 1989. Benson includes several asteroids, but not comets or dwarf planets because, he claims, decent photos of these do not yet exist. Except where they descend into outright error (Venus is not “by far the hottest place in the solar system”), the accompanying text and captions just rehash commonly available facts, but our nearest neighbors in space have never looked better. (glossary, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)