Europe to the Stars

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Europe to the Stars: ESO's First 50 Years of Exploring the Southern Sky
Directed by Lars Lindberg Christensen
Produced by Herbert Zodet
Lars Lindberg Christensen
Screenplay by Govert Schilling
Starring Dr. J.
Sarah Medes Da Costa (voice)
Music by Movetwo
John Stanford (composer: additional music)
Zero-Project (composer: additional music)
Cinematography Peter Rixner
Herbert Zodet
Edited by Martin Kornmesser
European Southern Observatory
Distributed by European Southern Observatory
Release dates
  • October 5, 2012 (2012-10-05) (Germany)
Running time
63 minutes
Country Germany
Language English
Budget €150,000

To celebrate its 50th anniversary year, ESO in 2012 released the documentary Europe to the Stars — ESO's first 50 years of Exploring the Southern Sky. The movie tells the story of ESO — what scientific discoveries it has been making and how it designs, builds and operates some of the most powerful ground-based telescopes.

The movie consists of eight chapters each focusing on an aspect of an observatory, while also offering a broader view on how astronomy is made. From site testing and explaining the best conditions for observing the sky to how telescopes are built and what mysteries of the Universe astronomers are revealing.

With a total duration of 61 minutes, it is produced in full HD (1080p) and it is available on Blu-ray or DVD. It has a bonus section, narration and subtitles in several languages.


It all began in 1962 with the signing of the ESO convention - thanks to the initiative of astronomers from five European countries, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Fifty years later, their initial plan has become a reality. Europe to the Stars portrays the story of how Europeans achieved this.



  • Blu-ray, mastered in full HD, 1080p
  • 63 minutes
  • 8 chapters
  • Bonus material
  • Narration in English
  • Subtitles in 20 languages: Česky, Dansk, Deutsch, English, ελληνικά, Español, Français, íslenska, Italiano, Nederlands, Polski, Português, Português (Brasil), Pусский, Română, Slovenski, Suomen, Türkçe, Українська, हिन्दी
  • Region-free
  • Formats: cardboard DVD, DVD in a plastic box and Blu-ray
  • License: TV stations and TV producers can show the full movie or parts of it for free in perpetuity in all regions, if proper credit is visibly and audibly included: European Southern Observatory (ESO)
  • Related book: Europe to the Stars — ESO’s first 50 years of exploring the southern sky, Wiley, 2012

External links[edit]