Phone: +49 (0) 176 23606163
Frank Erhardt (2005-2008)
Authors of guest article:
Dr. Norbert Gasch
Dr. Silke Mercel
For our information we mostly use the official websites of the space organisations and institutes of this world. The image material also comes from these organisations and is subject to the copyright of these organisations, whereby images from NASA, ESA and ESO are mostly classified as "public domain". We also have a library with several hundred books about astronomy, space technology and physics.
Our site went online on August 13th, 2001 and has had several facelifts since then. Since we were in the final selection for the Grimme Online Award (the most meaningful Online Award in Europe) in 2005, our site has been well known to a wide audience and has often been featured in television and radio programs.
"Impressive photographs from the universe, current news about the largest expeditions and a lot of background information: This website is one of the best." WDR broadcast from January 24, 2005
"Star watch over the Internet: Stars, moons, planets - more and more people are getting enthusiastic about astronomy and space travel through the images that the satellites send us from space. Who would like to inform comprehensively and in detail, should look at the Internet side extrasolar-planets.com. It is a kind of universal encyclopedia for space fans. The contributions on this side are understandable and respectable. The WDR 2 Favourite". WDR 2 broadcast April 21, 2005
Wikipedia is a great idea and in the field of science you can find a lot of first class articles. But unfortunately there are also topics that are treated less seriously, as we learned the hard way. In May 2006 we reported in the news "Former Nazi removed from Space Hall of Fame". It was about the removal of Professor Hubertus Strughold from the Space Hall of Fame in Arizona, because he was involved in terrible human experiments during World War 2. But for a long time you couldn't read anything about it in the German version of Wikipedia. Certain people always removed all information about Professor Hubertus Strughold's dark past. There was a so-called "Edit-War" raging. This opened our eyes and showed that our work is important even in times of Wikipedia.
A dark chapter was the legal dispute with the largest European aerospace company EADS/Astrium (today Airbus Defense and Space), who were of the opinion that our website and our trademark rights to "Astris" would infringe their trademark rights to "Astrium" and that there was also a risk of confusion. Our argumentation was that there are a lot of words who begin with "ASTR" like ASTRonomy and ASTRophysics. After an extremely expensive litigation, we finally lost our trademark rights, but not our domain . However, as there was a permanent danger of a temporary injunction during the legal dispute, we left our domain astris.de on hold and could only be reached under the domain www.extrasolar-planets.com.
Today we uses astris.de and astris.info for our comprehensive German version and extrasolar-planets.com for our small English version.
The arrogance from Google
For a long time we have been writing news regularly, but we had to finally stop, because Google had removed us from the Google News Index in December 2006 and effort and yield were out of proportion. Google was bothered by the fact that we always included the sources of NASA and ESA in our news. They accused us of being just a news aggregator. Our news were researched extensively, enriched with background information and often more substantial than the typical copy&paste of news agency reports. But against the arrogance of Google Germany it's hard to be reassured that after some discussions we would be taken up again and that "the recording process would only take a few weeks", but since then we haven't reappeared in the Google News Index. The Google staff members are measured to decide for themselves what good or bad science news is and are as tolerant as a Spanish inquisitor.
From April 2007 - January 2009 I also ran an astronomy blog. By annoying myself about conspiracy theories about the Moon landing, the lack of detailed knowledge or even the fake news of the yellow press. In addition I had doubts about the future of mankind when periodically someone in the TV show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" did not know what orbits the Earth (the Sun or the Moon). Especially memorable was the French version of the show as even the majority of the audience thought, that this would be the Sun.
Content Management System
In the first 7 years we used self-programmed websites, which were created with the software Adobe GoLive. In November 2008 we switched to the American Content Management System (CMS) Vivvo. This had advantages and disadvantages, but unfortunately it allowed criminals to hacked us.
Our website has been running on the Israeli cloud platform Wix.com since 2019.
Several experts have already written guest articles and if you also have expert knowledge and would like to share it with a larger readership, please feel free to contact us.
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