Photos of space always make our jaws drop and our problems seem tiny. The new book Planetfall: New Solar System Visions by Michael Benson (Abrams, $55) contains truly stunning images of our planet and the astronomical objects around us.
Benson works at the intersection of art and science, taking the raw data from NASA and processing them into amazing photography.
And boy does it make for some beautiful visions of what's out there.
We don't often insist that you have to view our photo slideshows in Full Screen. But this one seemed worth it.
Put Holst's Planets Suite on loop, click below, and be amazed.
Sunset on the Pacific
Sunset on the Pacific as seen from the International Space Station at an altitude of 235 miles. ISS 007 crew, July 21, 2003 Credit: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA JSC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
An eclipse of the Sun by the Earth
View of the solar corona and magnetic loops during an eclipse of the Sun by the Earth. In this image, the outer plasma atmosphere of the Sun, 200 times hotter than the Sun’s surface, is occulted by our planet. The graduated reduction in our view is due to the variable density of Earth’s atmosphere, which blocks ultraviolet light. Solar Dynamics Observatory, April 2, 2011 Credit: NASA GSFC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
A massive storm rages on Saturn
A massive storm rages on Saturn. The biggest seen on the planet in more than 20 years, the storm started in late 2010 and dominated Saturn’s northern hemisphere throughout 2011. Its head, seen on the left, eventually merged with its tail, producing a single turbulent band. Rhea, Saturn’s second-largest moon, can be seen on the left. Mosaic composite photographs. Cassini, February 25 and 24, 2011 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
View of rapidly spinning Jupiter from its north equatorial belt on down. Embedded in the south equatorial band, the Great Red Spot is actually a vast anticyclonic storm system three times the size of Earth that has been raging for at least 348 years. Cassini, December 13, 2000 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
Sunset on Mars
Appearing only about two-thirds the size it does from Earth, the Sun sets behind the 50-mile-distant rim of Gusev Crater. The blue glow is caused by light-scattering dust suspended in the atmosphere. Mosaic composite photograph. Spirit Rover, May 19, 2005 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
Above the lunar landscape
View from an altitude of about 120 miles above the lunar landscape in the vicinity of the Meton and Barrow Craters in the Moon’s far north. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, September 5, 2009 Credit: NASA GSFC/Arizona State University/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
The moon, lit by the Sun
Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn’s nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, December 25, 2009 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.
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