Ron Miller's new coffee table book The Art of Space is a gorgeous history of scientific illustrations, full of retro rockets and stunning planetscapes. It's also a glimpse back at the cutting-edge astronomy of yesteryear. We've got a gallery of some of the most striking work from the book.
Top image by Chesley Bonestell
The Art of Space (Zenith Press), edited by io9 contributor Miller, organizes the sprawling history of artistic depictions of space into eras and schools of style and technique, letting the reader see how space art has developed and changed over the past two hundred years. Most of the story is told through the captions that accompany each image, letting the images themselves fill the pages. There's also an introduction by eminent astronomer Carolyn Porco, plus in-depth sidebars by Miller highlighting particular artists or important events in space art history.
Even as someone with a fascination for space art will learn a lot from this book — Miller manages to cover a lot without sacrificing detail. There are early woodcuts, pulp magazine covers, Soviet space propaganda, computer generated art, ethereal imaginings, bizarre aliens, even art made by astronauts.
The gallery below shows off some of my favorite images out of 300 incredible pieces in the book.
By Lucy West
A. DeVille d'Avray
David A. Hardy