Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017
By Kadri
"Breakthrough!" by Robert Gendler and R. Jay GaBany

Breakthrough! begins with a short history of astrophotography and the methods that have been used from the middle of nineteenth century all the way to present day, describing on the way the difficulties that were associated with photographing specific objects with specific techniques.

The book presents astronomical images that have changed our understanding or perception of the objects in some meaningful way together with an explanation of what and how it changed.

The range of images in this book is wide, starting with first surviving astrophotographs of the Sun, Moon and nebulae, and continuing all the way to images taken in a variety of wavelengths and from space telescopes to fly-by missions and orbiting spacecrafts.

I liked that although the focus is on the images , it is very informative. Although a picture is said to be worth more than a thousand words, in some popular astronomy books they do however tend to rather fill space and provide less information to a new astronomy enthusiast than they could with a good explanation that would go beyond the "Messier object ....". I feel that sometimes long explanations are important since they make the reader pay more attention to the images that they might have seen tens of times, and never really looked at closely enough to take in all the details.

It's a wonderful book.

As for the images, I did choose my favorites for what they represent - the human boot print on the Moon, and finding water-ice beneath Martian surface.

I did come across my pet peeve in this book though - slight errors that could have been avoided with double-checking.


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