Friday, October 16, 2009

Video: Eyes on the Skies

There is more science to celebrate in 2009 than just anniversaries relating to Charles Darwin, 2009 is also the International Year of Astronomy. (Because it's the 400th anniversary of the first astronomical observations with a telescope). Anyway, since my fiancĂ©e is such an astronomy nut, I downloaded "Eyes in the Skies" for her, the freely-available official documentary of the IYA. (Alas, they don't have a single file for download, so you have to download 7 separate 'chapters')

My verdict: watch it. While it's not quite professionally produced, and while there is weird and annoying pronunciation throughout (e.g. NAzzzA for NASA), the actual content is great. It's basically a primer on the history of telescopes - not just optical, ones that observe all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum - and, most interestingly, it covers future telescopes that are being built or that are on the drawing board.

(Hopefully South Africa will win the bid for the Square Kilometer Array. That would be awesome).

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