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Astronomy and the Beauty
of the Swiss Alps

Alpine Astrovillage Lü-Stailas
..Observatory and Center for Astrophotography
  Lunar phase 
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Jitka and Vaclav in their dome

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  Václav and Jitka Ourednik - the founder and directors of the AAV-Lue-Stailas

Originating for the Czech Republic and Switzerland, Václav and Jitka Ourednik hold both a PhD in neuroscience and have been studying the regenerative capacity of the central nervous system for over 20 years. While pursuing competitive research and publishing in foremost scientific journals, they present their scientific results at international symposia and organize professional meetings and seminars.

Jitka at the microscope

 

Vaclav in the labThe couple has worked at various academic places across Europe and North-America, namely, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the Czech Academy of Sciences, Dalhousie University (Canada), Iowa State University (USA) and Harvard University (USA). At these institutions, they have also taught neuroscience, physiology and histology.

Now, in order to promote public awareness for the need to protect our natural habitat and the dark skies, they have decided to make their life-long hobby a profession and create a center for high-end amateur astrophotography in Europe.

Their search for the best possible location lasted several years. Finally, being both fond of the Swiss Alps, they chose a sunny terrace at an altitude of 2000 m in eastern Switzerland for the creation of the Alpine Astrovillage Lue-Stailas.

The center will open in 2009, the International Year of Astronomy and in conjunction with the formation of the regional UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Val Mustair/Swiss National Park".

Similarities between micro- and macro-cosmos

The views through a microscope (left) can be remarkably similar to vistas in the universe imaged through a telescope such as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) or simulated with computers according to current cosmological theories (right).

Neuronal cell culture as seen in a fluorescent microscope
culture of nerve cells

 

Filamentous clusters of galaxies as pictured by the HST (left) or in a computer simulation (right) Galactic filaments (HST and simulation)
 
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