There aren’t any bells and whistles in “Beyond: Visions of Planetary Landscapes,” an exhibition on view at the Worcester Art Museum through May 24. But the massive photographs from outer space, some 5 feet wide, should still rank high on the “wow” scale. The pictures come mainly from NASA and European space agency missions, many of them unmanned probes that clicked away as they orbited particular planets. Journalist and artist Michael Benson worked through the pictures and, using a series of digital tools, turned the raw data into mind-blowing images.
“They’re just amazing,” says David Acton, curator of prints, drawings, and photographs at the museum. “They’re pictures of things that are absolutely, astonishingly huge. All in one frame, you get Saturn. In another, you get the surface of Jupiter.” The show comes from the Smithsonian and stops in Worcester as part of a 14-city tour that runs through 2011.