Esko Valtaoja

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Esko Valtaoja
Esko Valtaoja 2.jpg
Esko Valtaoja in 2010
Born (1951-06-20) 20 June 1951 (age 67)
Kemi, Finland
Nationality Finnish
Employer University of Turku
Awards Tieto-Finlandia 2002

Esko Jorma Johannes Valtaoja (pronounced [ˈesko ˈʋɑltɑˌojɑ] (About this sound listen); 1951, Kemi) is a Finnish professional astronomer and writer. Valtaoja works as a professor at the University of Turku where he studies quasars.

In 2002 his book Kotona maailmankaikkeudessa (At Home in the Cosmos, 2001) won the Finlandia Prize for the best non-fiction work. After this he became a popular guest speaker at TV shows, science fiction conventions, popular science seminars etc. Part of his popularity comes from his ability to present complex scientific theories and ideas in a manner that is both understandable and entertaining to the general audience.

Since then, Valtaoja has written another book, Avoin tie (The Open Road, 2004), in which he explains his visions of the future. The book is written in a style similar to that of Kotona maailmankaikkeudessa, with the general audience in mind.

Latest book by Valtaoja is Ihmeitä: kävelyretkiä kaikkeuteen (Wonders: Saunters to the Universe), published October 2007. The book is the last part of his trilogy, which began with Kotona maailmankaikkeudessa, and is written in the same style as the two earlier books. As the first book is about the past and the second about the future, Valtaoja has said that it is natural to write the last about the present time.

In his free time he enjoys art and literature (especially science fiction). He is also an amateur biologist.

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