Giovanni Bignami

Exploring Space to Explore the Past Publication date : January 4, 2006

Not only does this book recount the history of the representation of space through the ages (as illustrated by Giotto’s paintings, Galileo’s physics and Cassini’s cartography), it also tells the tale of space exploration via the probes named after these great historical figures. The Giotto space probe provided images of the core of Halley’s famous comet; the Galileo space probe explored Jupiter and its moons; the Cassini probe explored Saturn and its satellites. The author shows that the aim of space exploration is not simply to accumulate knowledge about all of the planets, but rather to understand the origin of our solar system in order to anticipate future events.
Travelling in space and learning more about space are seen here as ways of exploring Time and the history of the Universe.

Giovanni Fabrizio Bignami is a professor of astronomy at the University of Pavia and the scientific director of the Italian Space Agency.