Nicolas T. Matsopoulos has degrees in Shipbuilding (BEng), Natural Sciences (BSc), Science Communication (MSc) and in Education (MEd). His interest started as an amateur astronomer in early adolescence. During the period 1973‒1978 he worked as a volunteer observer at the Astronomical Institute of the National Observatory of Athens. In 1979 he joined its permanent staff observing variable and binary stars, the major planets and the Sun, in collaboration with the US Air Force personnel who run the Solar Observatory at the Penteli Astronomical Centre.

Furthermore, he developed a deep interest in the History of Science and Science Communication. In 1995 he developed the Visitor Centre at Penteli Observatory, financed by EU funds. Since then, and until his retirement at the end of 2014, he was in charge of the Visitor Centre and dedicated himself to science communication. During this period he gave tours to about a quarter of a million visitors, hundreds of lectures all over the country, he established the first amateur astronomy society in Greece, and has produced several astronomical documentaries for the needs of the Visitor Centre and for local TV channels. He has written or co-written more than 270 articles, conference presentations and papers and eight books.

Theofanis Matsopoulos specializes in Planetarium Production, FullDome Cinematography, Giant Screen Documentary Production, Visual Science Communication, 3D animation and Astrophotography

He collaborates with world-famous organizations as European Southern Observatory (ESO), European Space Agency (ESA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) / AURA – Noirlab

​He has created and directed documentaries for planetariums which are presented in planetariums all over the world and have been translated into more than 30 languages.

​The documentaries “From Earth To The Universe”, the award-winning “The Hot and Energetic Universe” & “The Sun: Our Living Star” as well as more than 300 video clips, time-lapses, and 3D animations are available on the European Southern Observatory’s and ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope website. They are distributed for free in order to disseminate astronomy science in general public.

​He photographs nightscapes, astronomical phenomena and celestial deep sky objects using various telescopes in his private astronomical observatory.

​He has presented four photography – astrophotography exhibitions titled: “The Greece of the Stars”, “Between Heaven and Earth”, “National Observatory of Athens”, “Ancient Corinth” in Athens (Eugenides Planetarium, National Observatory of Athens), Ioannina (Historical Archive Museum of Epirus), Corinth (Archaeological Museum of Nemea, Municipal Art Gallery of Corinth) and other cities and islands in Greece.

​​He also collaborates with the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) producing documentaries for the Visitor Center and taking astronomical images using its scientific instruments.

​Theofanis Matsopoulos is a member of International Planetarium Society since 2018

Awards

  • “Golden Star Award (1st)” for the planetarium movie “The Hot and Energetic Universe”​
    (International Planetarium Movie Festival at Gwacheon National Science Museum 2016)
  • “Best FullDome Cinematography Award” for the planetarium movie “Capturing the Starlight: The Magnificent Telescopes”
    (International Fulldome Festival & Planetarium Conference – Yaroslavl 2017)
  • “Best Visual Effects Award” for the virtual reality documentary “Mars: The Red Planet VR”
    (World Visual Reality Innovation Conference 2018)
  • “The Best Science Popularizing Fulldome Show” for the planetarium movie “The Sun. Our living Star”
    (International Fulldome Festival & Planetarium Conference – Yaroslavl 2019)

Publications

  • “The world’s first downloadable, full-length fulldome show”
    Planetarian – Journal of the International Planetarium Society 2015
  • “An innovative way to do 4k fulldome filming”
    IPS 2016 Conference
  • “Το Πλανητάριο στην Εκπαίδευση, το πρώτο Ψηφιακό Φορητό Πλανητάριο στην Ελλάδα”
    Πανελλήνιο Επιστημονικό Συνέδριο «Οπτικοακουστικός Γραμματισμός στην Εκπαίδευση» 2016
    Τμήμα Κινηματογράφου Σχολή Καλών Τεχνών Α.Π.Θ
  • “The Planetarium in the 21 st Century”
    Association of Brazilian Planetariums 2017
  • “New Free ESO Show – The Sun: Our living star”
    IPS 2018 Conference

Konstantinos Sakkas has a degree in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. Founder of Zagori Observatory and Ioannina Amateur Astronomy Association. He is actively engaged in astronomy since 1999 by organizing events and star parties in schools, private and public spaces as well as giving astronomy presentations in primary schools and high schools. From 2016 he created and operates Planetarium on the Go

Christos Sakkas has degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Patras and MSC Engineering Project Management from University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, and works from 1999 in civil engineering constructions. From 2016 he created and operates Planetarium on the Go