Wednesday, April 8, 2009

400 Years of the Telescope

A new special premieres this weekend on PBS called 400 years of the Telescope (check your local listings for times...Friday at 9:00pm on channel 11 from Milwaukee). As you might suspect, this show is part of the International Year of Astronomy celebration.

400 Years of the Telescope is pretty ambitious. Cramming 400 years of history into an hour is no easy task to say the least, but they give it a pretty good shot, hitting some of the major highlights along the way with frequently stunning visuals and engaging interviews with astronomers. Neil deGrasse Tyson provides the narration.

I have seen this already as they debuted it at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Long Beach. I give it an overall thumbs up, but there were some curious choices on what they included and omitted. I think everyone felt that way as all astronomers have their favorite telescope which they are convinces should have been in there and wasn't. It's kind of like debating who was left out of the NCAA tournament. You know they got most of it right, but there are always a couple of bubble teams you can debate.

Set those DVRs this weekend for a high def astronomy treat.

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

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