eso0913 — Organisation Release

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ESO takes the public on an astronomical journey “Around the World in 80 Telescopes”

30 March 2009

A live 24-hour free public video webcast, “Around the World in 80 Telescopes”, will take place from 3 April 09:00 UT/GMT to 4 April 09:00 UT/GMT, chasing day and night around the globe to let viewers “visit” some of the most advanced astronomical telescopes on and off the planet. The webcast, organised by ESO for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), is the first time that so many large observatories have been linked together for a public event.

Viewers will see new images of the cosmos, find out what observatories in their home countries or on the other side of the planet are discovering, send in questions and messages, and discover what astronomers are doing right now. Participating telescopes include those at observatories in Chile such as ESO’s Very Large Telescope and La Silla, the Hawaii-based telescopes Gemini North and Keck, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, telescopes in the Canary Islands, the Southern African Large Telescope, space-based telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, ESA XMM-Newton and Integral, and many more. “Around the World in 80 Telescopes” will take viewers to every continent, including Antarctica!

The webcast production will be hosted at ESO’s headquarters near Munich, Germany, with live internet streaming by Ustream.tv. Anyone with a web browser supporting Adobe Flash will be able to follow the show, free of charge, from the website www.100hoursofastronomy.org and be a part of the project by sending messages and questions. The video player can be freely embedded on other websites. TV stations, web portals and science centres can also use the high quality feed. Representatives of the media who wish to report from the “front-line” and interview the team should get in touch.

“Around the World in 80 Telescopes” is a major component of the 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA), a Cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. 100HA is on track to be the largest single science public outreach event ever, with more than 1500 events registered in over 130 countries. 100HA will take place over four days and nights, from 2–5 April 2009. It is a worldwide celebration composed of a broad range of activities aimed at involving the public. During this period, people from around the globe will share the experience and wonder of observing the sky. For many, it will be their first glimpse of the marvels of the heavens through a telescope. For others, it is the perfect opportunity to impart their knowledge and excitement, helping unveil the cosmos to fresh and eager eyes.

Astronomers at ESO are also organising local public events near their headquarters in Garching, near Munich. In the Munich city centre, ESO astronomers, together with colleagues from the Excellence Cluster Universe, will share their views of the cosmos with members of the public.

ESO in Chile is also participating in a series of events to celebrate the 100 Hours of Astronomy. In Antofagasta, an exhibition by international and local astrophotographers will be unveiled at the main mall in the city. Star parties will be organised for the public in the desert outside Antofagasta, in coordination with the local university UCN. In Santiago, ESO is offering, along with other international observatories and the Chilean astronomical community, a complete set of programmes, including public talks, night observations and interactive exhibitions. In San Pedro de Atacama, the ALMA project will install an inflatable planetarium for the local community, and astronomy workshops and star parties will be offered to the public.

More information

ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO plays also a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.

The vision of the IYA2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night-time skies the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

Ustream.TV is the live interactive video broadcast platform that enables anyone with a camera and an internet connection to quickly and easily broadcast to a global audience of unlimited size. In less than two minutes, anyone can become a broadcaster by creating their own channel on Ustream or by broadcasting through their own site, empowering them to engage with their audience and further build their brand.

Links

Contacts

Douglas Pierce-Price
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 759
Email: dpiercep@eso.org

Gonzalo Argandoña
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +56 2 463 3258
Email: gargando@eso.org

Pedro Russo
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 195
Cell: +49 176 6110 0211
Email: prusso@eso.org

Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESO
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
Cell: +49 173 3872 621
Email: lars@eso.org

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About the Release

Release No.:eso0913
Legacy ID:PR 13/09

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Around the World in 80 Telescopes
Around the World in 80 Telescopes
100 Hours of Astronomy Logo
100 Hours of Astronomy Logo

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