“Expanding Universe” – Photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope

Owen Edwards, Zoltan Levay, Charles f. Bolden Jr, John Mace Grunsfeld, PhD
HB – £44.99 Taschen

When talking about Astronomy with a few friends and relatives, I often get asked the usual question: “What made you study Astronomy?” (no, I am no astrophysicist…. I studied it at GCSE level).

Well, the answer is easy and always the same: I am in awe of such a subject matter. My mind, excuse the pun, goes into the stratosphere every time I read of new discoveries, I marvel at the fact that Planet Earth is simply so utterly beautiful, and then the Universe…well, well that is something astounding.

So when “Expanding Universe” was published recently, by the giant that is Taschen publishers, I immediately requested a copy and was left pondering, left speechless by the fantastic photos throughout the book and the curating perfection of the authors: from a photographer to an astrophysicist to a Major General!

But the main “author” here is really the great Hubble, the space telescope, launched into the Earth orbit in 1990 and still working its way round! HST (Hubble Space Telescope), named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble, was built by NASA with the help of the European Space Agency (ESA). Being one of the most flexible of telescopes, Hubble is able to take high-resolution images with small “background” light; this, in recent years, has led to incredible advancements in Astrophysics such as the very “expansion” of the Universe which is crucial to understanding where we are going and why.

Hubble’s images in this book will blow anyone’s mind. Not just the aficionados of Astronomy, but anyone who can appreciate the beauty of a world which is still a complete mystery to us, and which, nevertheless, holds so much in store for us, mere mortals.

Erminia Yardley