Adventures In Deep Space

A blog about turning our "crazy" big idea to transform deep space exploration into a real company (click on header above to view this blog's home page)

National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe

January 18, 2022 — Thomas Leavitt

Blurb: Planet by planet, star after star, "Our Universe" takes you on an adventure that begins before people even knew the Earth was round and ends aboard shuttles and starships. Internationally known artists lift you to space scapes as awesome as they are accurate. You'll see planetary vistas photographed by NASA's most recent flybys. This completely updated atlas brings you 343 paintings, drawings, photgraphs, and maps. You'll find an illustrated time chart of important 20th-century space events, a glossary and index, and a guide to planetariums and space museums in the United States and Canada.

Goodreads describes it thusly: "A lavishly illustrated guide to the universe combines the efforts of an award-winning author and NASA experts, offering a timeline of important space events, an easy-to-use glossary, and a planetarium, observatory, and museums listing. 10,000 first printing."

My parents were one of those first 10,000 in 1980... the image on the cover (which I'd forgotten wraps around over the spine and to the back) instantly captured my imagination, and is likely one of the reasons I've been obsessed with the idea of space travel since I can first remember. I spent hours and hours, from the age of 8 to 18, flipping through and reading this gorgeous book (as many of the reviews attest, I was not alone in this). Even though the science will be more out of date, you want the 1980 edition if at all possible, since apparently, later editions omit the (lavishly illustrated) speculation over life on other planets. I may buy a copy of this for my grandchildren once they're a little older.

The artist, John Berkey, has a distinct and instantly recognizable style. You can see more of his work in this Imagur gallery.

Tags: inspiration, literature, memories