These days, we’re used to pin-sharp images of the edge of the universe and we take for granted that we can see distant stars as disks – which used to be a tenet of astronomy that this did not happen.
As a child I was enthralled by my dad’s 1974 Mitchell Beazley Concise Atlas of the Universe and I’ve preserved it against the ravages of time and not giving a toss. This is space before Hubble, before Voyager and only just after Pioneer, a time when colour photographs of space were art in themselves.
As a tribute to when space was a lot more mysterious than it is now, I now reproduce some of these pictures for your delectation.
First up, Mars:
And the outer planets:
The advances we’ve made in capturing some of the wonders of the universe are immense. This should be a golden era for inspiring youngsters into the study of physics…