400 Years of the Telescope

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400 Years of the Telescope
400 Years of the Telescope poster.jpg
Directed by Kris Koenig
Produced by Kris Koenig
Dan Koehler
Written by Donald Goldsmith
Albert van Helden
Kris Koenig
Narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Music by Mark Slater
Cinematography Scott Stender
Edited by Kimberly Generous White
Interstellar Media Productions
Distributed by PBS
Release date
  • January 6, 2009 (2009-01-06)
Running time
60 minutes
Country United States
Language English

400 Years of the Telescope: A Journey of Science, Technology and Thought is a 2009 American documentary film that was created to coincide with the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The film chronicles the history of the telescope from the time of Galileo and features interviews with leading astrophysicists and cosmologists from around the world, who explain concepts ranging from Galileo's first use of the telescope to view the moons of Jupiter, to the latest discoveries in space, including new ideas about life on other planets and dark energy, a mysterious vacuum energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.



  • Han Beekman
  • Mavt Steketee
  • Stefano Lecci
  • Herman Boerman
  • Irma Hartog
  • Hallam Murray
  • Nils Koenig
  • Madison Royal
Galileo voices
  • Stefano Lecci
  • Francesca Giannini


The film's development team included Donald Goldsmith, a well-known astronomy writer on the Carl Sagan Cosmos team, and Albert Van Helden, a leading authority on the history of the telescope. It was shot on RED Digital Cinema at the world's leading universities and observatories including the European Southern Observatory, Institute for Astronomy, SETI Institute, Space Telescope Science Institute, Anglo-Australian Observatory, and Harvard University. Among the production team's challenges were shooting the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) at 5000m on the Atacama Desert. The original score was composed by Mark Slater and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios.

Broadcast and release details[edit]


30th Annual Telly Awards
  • Silver - Excellent achievement in videography/cinematography[1]
  • Bronze (3) - Outstanding achievement in use of animation, copywriting and the documentary over all[2]
  • Best Director[3]
2009 W3 Awards
  • Silver Winner: Website Design (Michael Moretti)[4]


External links[edit]