Edition 16 of the Astronomy On-line Newspaper

"Ears towards the Stars"

The following information is about an unsual project that has come to our attention today. Daniel Kunth, a professional astronomer who is at the origin of it, is currently at ESO in Garching.

We believe that it may be of interest to many Astronomy On-Line participants. More details may be obtained directly from the author via email, as indicated below.

Richard West, ESO

"Les Oreilles dans les Etoiles"

Many people have once looked up to the sky at night and have asked themselves about the names of these bright stars and constellations that culminate and shine along the year. Most people recognize the Big Dipper, some know Vega, but few go beyond that. This is not a lack of interest but simply because it is not so easy for most unaware persons to use and orientate a sky map, or to have an astronomer just next to them as a guide. Astronomers are rare and starguides are ackward to use!

For this reason we have produced a book + a CD that will help anyone to recognize by him/herself stars and constellations in summer and winter under our latitudes. The names are given as well as the origin of star names and constellations. Colours of the stars are indicated as well as their distances. Some clues of recent developments of astronomy are given in a very accessible way.

The CD is the result of a cooperative action by an actor, a writer and an astronomer. The astronomer has cooked up the scenario, the writer a well-known novelist added his touch and the comedian performed the CD. Just put the CD in your Discman, go outside look up and listen to the guide explaining what you see!

The Book comes in addition with the texts and some illustrations. It can be used per se to offer a further check that the right stars have been identified. But also it can be read for itself.

This summer 1996, Les Oreilles dans les etoiles has received a price Prix de l'astronomie junior given by the Festival d'astronomie de Haute-Maurienne in France.

Information about: LES OREILLES DANS LES ETOILES. Authors: Michel Boujenah, comedien, humoriste; Daniel Kunth, astrophysicist; Jacques Lanzmann, writer. Price: 139 FF; Editions Ramsey, 103 bld Murat, F-75016 Paris, France. (ISBN 2-84114-129-2).

For further contacts to discuss this topic, as for instance the possibility to adapt it to another language, please send an email to: dkunth@eso.org or kunth@iap.fr

Daniel Kunth
Institut d'Astrophysique - Paris and ESO

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Last update: Nov 28, 1996