Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime (Paperback)
  • Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime (Paperback)
zoom

Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime (Paperback)

(author)
£22.99
Paperback 276 Pages / Published: 24/11/2012
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 2 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
The vivid, dramatic images of distant stars and galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have come to define how we visualize the cosmos. In their immediacy and vibrancy, photographs from the Hubble show what future generations of space travelers might see should they venture beyond our solar system. But their brilliant hues and precise details are not simply products of the telescope\u2019s unprecedented orbital location and technologically advanced optical system. Rather, they result from a series of deliberate decisions made by the astronomers who convert raw data from the Hubble into spectacular pictures by assigning colors, adjusting contrast, and actively composing the images, balancing the desire for an aesthetically pleasing representation with the need for a scientifically valid one.In Picturing the Cosmos, Elizabeth A. Kessler examines the Hubble\u2019s deep space images, highlighting the remarkable resemblance they bear to nineteenth-century paintings and photographs of the American West and their invocation of the visual language of the sublime. Drawing on art history and the history of science, as well as interviews with astronomers who work on the Hubble Heritage Project, Kessler traces the ways that the sublime, with its inherent tension between reason and imagination, not only forms the appearance of the images, but also operates on other levels. The sublime informs the dual expression-numeric and pictorial-of digital data and underpins the relevance of the frontier for a new era of exploration performed by our instruments rather than our bodies. Through their engagement with the sublime the Hubble images are a complex act of translation that encourages an experience of the universe as simultaneously beyond humanity\u2019s grasp and within the reach of our knowledge.Strikingly illustrated with full-color images, this book reveals the scientific, aesthetic, and cultural significance of the Hubble pictures, offering a nuanced understanding of how they shape our ideas-and dreams-about the cosmos and our places within it.

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816679577
Number of pages: 276
Weight: 794 g
Dimensions: 229 x 178 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Picturing the Cosmos has helped me better understand what it is that fascinates me about the astronomical universe. Even though I've always loved to look directly at the night sky or at the wonders it holds with telescopes of many sizes and powers, reading here that `astronomy is about the pleasure of looking' has revitalized this old habit and given it weight." -David H. DeVorkin, Senior Curator, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum


"This masterful book provides the authoritative account of why these images look the way they do and, more broadly, how human beings manage to represent the vastness of the cosmos to themselves." -W. J. T. Mitchell, author of Cloning Terror and Seeing through Race

You may also be interested in...

Theory Of The Avant-Garde
Added to basket
Fictionalizing Anthropology
Added to basket
From Light to Dark
Added to basket
£18.99
Paperback
Discourse, Figure
Added to basket
Through Amateur Eyes
Added to basket
The Truth Is Always Grey
Added to basket
Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds
Added to basket
Curated Decay
Added to basket
£20.99
Paperback
Architecture since 1400
Added to basket
Contract With The Skin
Added to basket
The Urban Apparatus
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.