“Summer in the Stars” on France’s culture, outdoor science

In 2019, France Culture Producer Nicholas Martin climbed onto the icebreaker for “A summer in Antarctica,” a refreshing trip to the Dumont-d’Urville science base. In March 2020, this astrophysics enthusiast was due to leave, this time for Chile, for a trip around large telescopes, when the pandemic halted his project, which finally came true in April 2022.

A Summer in the Stars reports on his trip to four remote observation sites in the Atacama Desert: Paranal, La Silla, Apex and Alma. “In these isolated societies, self-sufficient bubbles, researchers sacrifice part of their social and family lives for the advancement of science”, Note Nicholas Martin, who sees in him a certain proximity to polar solitude.

Explorer’s Tales

The forty four-minute episodes alternate with the secrets of astronomers and engineers—like this influential La Silla logistics manager who, on the eve of his retirement, fears to leave the haven of peace he’s frequented for thirty years—a scientific curiosity. We discover in particular this amazing chamber of mirrors designed to slow down the light and unite the four telescopes of the VLT (Very Large Telescope).

Another summer novelty, the second season of “Infiniment” (1) also invites you to travel: from arid deserts to wetlands, which have dried up for a long time although they are wonderful repositories of biodiversity; From the depths of the ocean to the first traces of life recorded in fossils. A whirlwind of experiences told by explorers and scientists in the field, which will surely continue to feed Nicholas Martin’s imagination. After such a busy summer, a former literature teacher-turned-journalist has decided to quit the airwaves, and his groundbreaking “The Scientific Method” program, to devote himself to writing.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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