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Picturing the Cosmos

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Table of Contents

Contents Abbreviations Introduction: Astronomy's Romantic Landscapes 1. The Astronomical Sublime and the American West 2. Ambivalent Astronomers and the Embrace of Hubble Images 3. Translating Data into Pretty Pictures 4. From Unknown Frontiers to Familiar Places Epilogue: A Very Distant Peaceful Star Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Elizabeth A. Kessler teaches art history at Stanford University.


"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 "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

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