264 pages, colour & b/w photos, includes DVD (runtime: 61 min, region ALL)
The creation of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in 1962 was the culmination of the dream of leading astronomers from five European countries. Over the years, as more member states joined, ESO constructed the La Silla and Paranal observatories, as well as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) together with partners. ESO is now starting to build the world's biggest eye on the sky, the European Extremely Large Telescope.
At the dawn of 2012, its 50th anniversary year, ESO is ready to enter a new era. One that not even its founding members could have anticipated in their boldest dreams. Constantly at the technological forefront, ESO is ready to tackle new and as yet unimaginable territories of high-precision technology and scientific discovery. Produced especially for ESO's 50th anniversary, this sumptuously illustrated book takes the reader behind the scenes of the most productive ground-based observatory in the world. It contains the best 300 of ESO's images, hand-picked from a large collection of more than 100 000 images.
In the back of the book sits a DVD, containing the documentary Europe to the Stars - ESO's first 50 years of Exploring the Southern Sky. The movie captures the story of its epic adventure – a story of cosmic curiosity, courage and perseverance. The story of discovering a Universe of deep mysteries and hidden secrets. The story of designing, building and operating the most powerful groundbased telescopes on the planet. The movie consists of eight chapters each focusing on an essential aspect of an observatory, while putting things in perspective and offering a broader view on how astronomy is done. From site testing and explaining the best conditions for observing the sky to how telescopes are built and what mysteries of the Universe astronomers are revealing. It has a total duration of 61 minutes, is produced in full HD (1080p), and has a comprehensive bonus section, narration and subtitles in several languages.
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Lars Christensen is a science communication specialist heading the ESO education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD) in Munich, Germany. He is responsible for public outreach and education for the La Silla-Paranal Observatory, for ESO's part of ALMA, for the European Extremely Large Telescope, for ESA's part of the Hubble Space Telescope and for the International Astronomical Union Press Office.