For thousands of years, the ancients worshiped the “wandering stars” in the sky and until fairly recently these wanderers, the planets, were assumed to be Earth-like. Oceans lapped the grey shorelines of the Moon, and sea monsters inhabited the planet-wide ocean of Saturn. Yet within a human lifetime, 12 people have walked on the Moon and robotic explorers have radically transformed our understanding of our solar system.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, no human has left Earth orbit since 1972. On the other hand, explorers of a different kind have probed every single planet in the Solar System. “Imagining the Spheres” uses newly processed photos from early space missions, and works by leading astronomical artists, past and present (including members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists). It is a story of human imagination, endurance, and ingenuity, a narrative that describes how the quest for the answers of tomorrow pushed people to achieve the once impossible and drive human dreams ever forward.