'Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes'

Book Collects Otherworldly Images of the Landscapes of Space

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A Prominence on the Sun

A giant magnetic loop of hot gases creates a glowing handle on the sun. The June 9, 2002, prominence was caused by explosive instabilities in the sun's magnetic field. NASA hide caption

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Book cover

Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, by Michael Benson hide caption

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Available Online

Trawling through the Internet from his home in Slovenia, author Michael Benson stumbled upon some of the most expensive pictures ever taken: Otherworldly images sent back by the spacecraft humankind has launched over the past four decades in an effort to capture the heavens.

In a new book, Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, Benson collects nearly 300 of these photographs, snapped over an area of nearly 3 billion miles. The vistas are strange and beautiful — from the fiery arcing prominences of the sun to the celestial dance of Io floating above Jupiter. NPR's Scott Simon talks with Benson about the book, which he calls a collection of "landscape" photography.

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