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In Cosmigraphics, Michael Benson, author of ground-breaking books of space photography, turns his attention to the history of the visual description and mapping of the universe. This is a story that begins in myth and ends with science. Selecting the most artful and profound examples of cosmic imagery, Benson chronicles successive cosmological models that capture our growing awareness of humanity's place in nature, from terracentric to heliocentric to "galactocentric" to our current disaggregated decenteredness; shows how the invention and perfection of the telescope forced wondrous visions of unimaginable places; and explains why today photography alone cannot reveal the deeper truths about time and space in images. As much a work of art as it is of science, it includes hundreds of brilliant illustrations.
Cosmigraphics is the first book to explore the visual side of our greatest imaginative achievement as a species: the unveiling of a vast universe that is largely invisible to our senses. It will be appeal to the many space-struck Earthlings who are Benson's loyal readers, art lovers and readers interested in the history of science, the visualisation of information, graphic design and mapping.
Michael Benson's work focuses on the intersection of art and science, and his books for Abrams include Beyond, Far Out and Planetfall. A photographer, writer, filmmaker, book-designer and exhibitions producer, in the last decade he has staged a series of increasingly large-scale exhibitions of planetary landscape photography in the US and internationally, mostly under the title Beyond.