Celestial beauties

Exquisite color photographs adorn new anniversary book on the Hubble space telescope

This is the story of a journey through space and time revealed by a telescope called Hubble. Already exceeding its original estimated lifetime of 15 years in orbit around the Earth, Hubble is one of the most successful scientific projects of all time, both in terms of scientific output and its immediate public appeal. Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery, published as part of the European Space Agency's 15th anniversary celebration, presents the exquisite color images for which the telescope has become famous.

How does Hubble differ from other famous telescopes? It orbits 600 kilometers above the Earth's surface, placing it well above our image-distorting atmosphere. The telescope is designed to take high-resolution images and accurate spectra by concentrating light to form sharper images than are possible from the ground, where the atmospheric "twinkling" of the stars limits the clarity. In many areas of astronomical investigation, Hubble has pushed the limit of our knowledge far beyond anything possible before its launch.

Astronomy is fortunate in that telescopes not only produce results of great scientific value, but also of eye-catching beauty and artistic potential. Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery shows the close relationship between the two at its best. Super-sharp quality images, such as those found here, have enabled astronomers to gain entirely new insights into the workings of a huge range of different astronomical objects. This book by Lars Lindberg Christensen and Bob Fosbury is the only Hubble Heritage picture book endorsed by the two leading space agencies, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

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Lars Lindberg Christensen is a science communication specialist and works in Munich, Germany, as head of communication for the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in Europe. With a Master's degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, he has more than 100 publications to his credit. Bob Fosbury works for the European Space Agency as part of ESA's collaboration with NASA on the Hubble Project. He received his PhD from the University of Sussex and has published over two hundred scientific papers. Fosbury is currently chairman of the European Southern Observatory Astronomy Faculty in Munich.


Lars Lindberg Christensen, Robert A. Fosbury
Hubble: 15 Years of Discovery
Springer 2006, 124 pp., 108 color illustrations
Hardcover EUR 29.95, £19.95, $39.95, sFr 54.50
ISBN: 0-387-28599-7
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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