SEE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM LIKE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE

Author Michael Benson recently completed a new book titled "Otherworlds: Visions of Our Solar System," which features incredible photos of the sun, asteroids, and neighboring planets. It was produced in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name at London's Natural History Museum. Check out some photos and excerpts directly from the new book.

Eclipse of the Sun by Earth


The solar corona – the outer atmosphere that surrounds the Sun – and magnetic loops during an eclipse of the Sun by Earth. The graduated reduction in our view of the Sun is due to the increased density of Earth’s atmosphere from left to right, which blocks ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet photograph. Solar Dynamics Observatory, 2 April, 2011

Photography: NASA SDO/NASA GSFC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Mimas Transits Saturn’s Ring Shadows


Saturn’s tiny moon Mimas drifts against the backdrop of the planet’s northern latitudes. The long, dark lines are shadows cast by Saturn’s rings. Just like Earth’s atmosphere, Saturn’s atmosphere – when relatively cloud-free - can scatter blue light, giving the plan­et a bluish hue.

Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, 18 January, 2005

Photography: Credit: NASA/JPL/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Earth and Moon


Taken above the Pacific Ocean, this geosta­tionary satellite image captures Earth and the Moon in a single frame. In the mid-Pacific, high clouds near the planet’s day-night terminator line glow red with sunrise.

Composite photograph. GOES West, 25 May, 2015

Photography: NOAA-NASA-GOES/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

The Valles Marineris Canyon System


The largest canyon in the Solar System, Valles Marineris on Mars is almost 2,500 miles (4,000 kilo­metres) long – nearly the width of the United States. A ground fog hugs the canyon floor.

Mosaic composite photograph. Viking Orbiter 1, 16 July, 1978

Photography: NASA/JPL/ Dr Paul Geissler/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Crescents Moon and Earth


In this historic image, both the Moon and Earth are seen for the first time as paired crescent worlds, with the western half of the Moon’s far side visible. This photograph was taken 18 months before human beings saw earth­rise over the Moon for the first time, during the Apollo-8 mission.

Lunar Orbiter 4, 19 May, 1967

Photography: NASA LOIRP/Austin Epps/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Cloud-covered Venus


In visible light, the dense carbon dioxide atmos­phere makes Venus look like a bright, largely featureless ball. But here, in ultraviolet light, details of its swirling atmos­phere are revealed.

Ultraviolet photograph. Mariner 10, 5 February, 1974

Photography: NASA/Calvin Hamilton/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Mercury Transiting the Sun


The innermost planet, Mercury, is the small black dot in the upper left. Because the solar observatory that took this picture was orbiting Earth, the true size of Mercury in relation to the Sun is apparent. The Sun contains 99.86% of the mass of the Solar System, and Mercury is the smallest planet.

Composite ultraviolet photograph. Solar Dynamics Observatory, June 5, 2012

Photography: NASA/SDO, AIA/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Neptune and Triton


This crescent view of the outermost planet in the Solar System and its moon, Triton, is one of the last images recorded by Voyager 2 as it sped onward toward interstellar space, having surveyed all the gas giant worlds of the outer Solar System. Launched almost 40 years ago, we continue to receive transmissions from both Voyager spacecraft.

Composite photograph. Voyager 2, August 31, 1989

Photography: NASA/JPL/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Moonlight on the Adriatic


In this luminous view of southern Europe, the Adriatic Sea with its many islands gleams in reflected moonlight. In the centre, the Italian peninsula extends into the Mediterranean Sea. To the lower right, Milan’s road network blazes. South is up.

Mosaic photograph. ISS 023 crew, 29 April, 2010

Photography: NASA JSC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Sahara Sandstorm


A vast wall of wind-borne sand sweeps across the western Sahara before extending out across the Atlantic and impacting the Canary Islands. Like most terrestrial deserts, the Sahara is expanding at an alarming rate. The amount of dust in the air has doubled in the last hundred years.

Acqua, 3 March, 2004

Photography: Jeff Schmaltz, Lucian Plesea, MODIS LRRT/NASA GSFC/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures

Ground Fog in Valles Marineris


The western part of the 1,900-mile-wide (3,060 kilo­metres) Valles Marineris canyon system is seen here covered in morning water-ice and water-vapour ground fog. The canyon is more than four miles (six and a half kilometres) deep in places, over three times deeper than the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the United States.

Mosaic composite photograph. Mars Express, 25 May, 2004.

Photography: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures