The Pic du Midi Observatory, situated at an altitude of 2890 meters, was always very hard to reach, and living there was difficult. Its history is a lesson in courage. It is also a lesson in creativity, because astronomers took advantage of the remarkable quality of the site in many ways, to study planets and, later, to prepare for the Apollo missions. They also invited geophysicists, botanists, and cosmic ray physicists to conduct experiments there, and the Observatory became a successful center for multidisciplinary studies. The heroic period, which ended in 1952, is reviewed through the accomplishments of four directors, Celestin Vaussenat, Emile Marchand, Camille Dauzere and Jules Baillaud.
Astrophysics From Antarctica
- Pub Date:
- 9 pages (LaTeX with paspconf.sty). The paper including 14 figures is available in HTML format at http://www.obs-mip.fr/omp/umr5572/patrimoine/asp.html Invited lecture at the History session (Astronomy from difficult places) of the 109th Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific jointly with the Astrophysics From Antarctica Symposium. To appear in Astrophysics From Antarctica - Scientific Symposium Conference Proceedings (ASP Conference Series)