The Jewel on the Mountaintop. The European Southern Observatory through Fifty Years

  • ID: 2329833
  • Book
  • Region: Europe
  • 600 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Authored by ESO senior advisor Claus Madsen, the present book comprises 600 action–packed pages of ESO history and dramatic stories about the people behind the organisation. Produced especially for ESO′s 50th anniversary, this is the ultimate historical account about ESO and its telescopes in the southern hemisphere, but also about a truly remarkable European success story in research. Spanning the range from the first telescopes to the future platforms of the next generation, it shows how the improvement of the telescopes leads to a continuously changing view of the Universe.
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Prologue: The Hinge: The VLT

Part I: Catching Up

Chapter I–1: The Oldest Science

Chapter I–2: Returning from the Abyss

Chapter I–3: A Dramatic Twist

Chapter I–4: In the Most Remote Place God Could Find

Chapter I–5: ESO –

Quo Vadis?

Chapter I–6: Towards the 3.6–metre Telescope

Chapter I–7: Sky Mapper

Chapter I–8: Of Heaven and Hell, the Vatican and the Mission

Chapter I–9: Changing of the Guard

Chapter I–10: Garching United

Part II: Years of Experimentation

Chapter II–1: Upping the Ante

Chapter II–2: Inventing a Game Changer

Chapter II–3: EMMI, SUSI, SOFI and the other Darlings

Chapter II–4: Hubble at ESO

Chapter II–5: History in Passing

Chapter II–6: An Annus Mirabilis

Chapter II–7: The Day of Decision

Chapter II–8: A Mountain in the Middle of Nowhere

Chapter II–9: NTT First Light

Part III: The Breakthrough

Chapter III–1: Back to the Drawing Board

Chapter III–2: Aux Instruments, Chercheurs!

Chapter III–3: Breaking the Seeing Barrier

Chapter III–4: From Double–sight to Supersight: Interferometry

Chapter III–5: The Return of the Dalton Brothers

Chapter III–6: Bang for the Buck

Chapter III–7: Paradigm Revisited

Chapter III–8: Upgrading, De–scoping

Chapter III–9: Clouds on the Horizon

Chapter III–10: At the Brink

Chapter III–11: Tranquillity in Chile, Stiff Winds in Europe

Chapter III–12: Tuning a Formidable Science Machine

Chapter III–13: The Countdown

Chapter III–14: Clear Skies, at Last

Chapter III–15: First Fringes of the Phoenix

Chapter III–16: Not Just a Telescope, an Observatory;

Not Just an Observatory, a Home

Part IV: Towards New Horizons

Chapter IV–1: ALMA

Chapter IV–2: Into New Territory

Chapter IV–3: Buds at Paranal

Chapter IV–4: Of Eponymous Birds and Euros

Chapter IV–5: The VLT in Retrospect

Chapter IV–6: A Love Affair

Chapter IV–7: A Growing Organisation

Chapter IV–8: The Surge

Chapter IV–9: Born in Europe, at Home in the World

Chapter IV–10: A Window to the Public


Appendix 1 Important Milestones

Appendix 2 List of ESO Council Presidents and Directors General

Appendix 3 List of Interviewees

Appendix 4 Index of Names

Appendix 5 Subject Index

Appendix 6 List of Acronym
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Indeed, anyone who has had any involvement with, or interest in, the incredible astronomical phoenix that sprang out the ashes of WW II, should get a copy.   (The Observatory Magazine, 1 June 2013)

Anniversary publications can be overly dry or self–puffing, but this one isn t it s a weighty yet wonderfully written account of the effort to restore the prowess of European astronomy after World War II.   (BBC Sky at Night Magazine, 1 February 2013)

Rightly, the book is dedicated to the memory of Adriaan Blaauw, ESO s second Director General who initial articles led the author to put together this excellent chronicle.   (Astronomy Now, 1 February 2013)

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