A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar system

These are the postcards people will send home from their interplanetary vacations in 500 years. For now we can only gather them with robots, space stations and satellites. Still, it's pretty awesome to be living in a time when we can do even that. All these incredible visions are taken from Michael Benson's new art book Planetfall: New Solar System Visions (Abrams).

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A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

Sunset on the Pacific as seen from the International Space Station at an altitude of 235 miles, taken by the ISS 007 crew, July 21, 2003

Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA JSC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

View from an altitude of about 120 miles above the lunar landscape in the vicinity of the Meton and Barrow Craters in the Moon's far north. Taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, September 5, 2009.

NASA GSFC/Arizona State University/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

View of the solar corona and magnetic loops during an eclipse of the Sun by the Earth. In this image, the outer plasma atmosphere of the Sun, 200 times hotter than the Sun's surface, is occulted by our planet. The graduated reduction in our view is due to the variable density of Earth's atmosphere, which blocks ultraviolet light. Taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, April 2, 2011.

NASA GSFC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

Sunset on Mars. Appearing only about two-thirds the size it does from Earth, the Sun sets behind the 50-mile-distant rim of Gusev Crater. The blue glow is caused by light-scattering dust suspended in the atmosphere. Mosaic composite photograph. Taken by Spirit Rover, May 19, 2005.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

Transit of Io across Jupiter. South is up in this view. Mosaic composite photograph. Taken by Cassini, January 1, 2001.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

Saturn's tiny moon Mimas in transit across rippling ring shadows on the planet's northern hemisphere during that hemisphere's winter. Mimas is only 246 miles in diameter. South is up. Mosaic composite photographs. Taken by Cassini, January 18, 2005.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.


A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn's nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Taken by Cassini, December 25, 2009.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. (c) All Rights Reserved.

A gallery of sublime photographs from across our solar systemS

For more information on Michael Benson's work, visit his website. He also has a Planetfall exhibition opening at Hasted Kraeutler Gallery (534 West 24th Street, NYC) on December 13.