Rhodri Evans

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY is now on sale.  Order your copy here.

Our enduring fascination in our Solar System and the wonders of the Universe is now being fed by images of breathtaking detail, whether from data sent back 7.5 billion kilometres to bring Pluto into focus, or our first direct encounter with a comet by the Philae lander.

The very best images captured by the new generation of terrestrial telescopes, orbiting telescopes, landers and probes have been collected in this magnificent volume. Detailed captions explain the equipment and technicalities of producing such images, which are not only mesmerising but also provide a huge amount of information about celestial bodies and the formation of distant galaxies. From the world's gigantic telescopes in the Canary Islands, Hawaii and Chile to the New Horizons probe that has allowed us to learn so much about Pluto, each page reveals extraordinary images that take us deeper into our Universe.

The spectacular images in this book enthrall and inform in equal measure. A thought-provoking selection has been gathered together, captured in recent years by the world's largest telescopes and sensitive electronic detectors, as well as a few classics from earlier times when photographic plates were still being used. 

Beginning with our Solar System, the first section presents images taken by telescopes on Earth and in orbit such as Hubble and Herschel, and those sent back by spacecraft such as Cassini and New Horizons which have visited our planetary neighbours. Geysers are shown gushing out of Saturn's moon Enceladus, now one of the prime candidates to look for life elsewhere in our Solar System.

In the second section, the Milky Way is revealed in exquisite detail, from regions where hot, young stars are causing great clouds of gas to glow to others where stars are dying and exploding. Star forming clouds, dark nebulae and reflection nebulae are just some of the images presented in this section. Here we show Messier 78, a reflection nebula in the Orion constellation. Learn more about what creates a reflection nebula, and what we can learn from them.

The Pillars of Creation is one of the Hubble Space Telescope's most iconic images. In this book we present a new  image of this object, and explain the differences between this new image and the one taken in 2014. Messier 78 is a bright reflection nebula in the constellation Orion. We explain what a reflection nebula is, and how they can tell us about the environment in which we find them.

In the third section, our Local Group, we look at the objects in our neighbourhood. Our Local Group is dominated by our Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy (Messier 31). This spread shows Supernova 1987A, and also a composite image of Messier 31, visible light has been combined with infrared light and ultraviolet light to learn more about the different environments in this galaxy.