Monday, April 06, 2009

The Friday: 400 Years of the Telescope

An actor portrays Galileo peering through his telescope Dr. Lawrence Krauss at Kitt Peak
Images courtesy Interstellar Studios (click on the image for larger versions and copyright restrictions)

This Friday (April 10) at 10pm Eastern/Pacific, 9 Central, PBS will air a new high-def documentary called 400 Years of the Telescope, a production by Interstellar Studios created as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

I attended the premier of this documentary at the American Astronomical Society Meeting back in January; you can read about that experience (and my own opinion of the documentary) here. It's worth the time spent to see the story of how the telescope evolved from a military invention, through Galileo, and up to today's precision scientific instruments.

In addition to the PBS special, the documentary has a companion planetarium program that will tour select planetariums throughout the United States, and which will be distributed to planetariums around the world.

There are also companion teaching resources available.

If you can't watch the documentary on Friday or attend a planetarium showing, I suspect that the video will be on sale and/or available via Netflix in the near future.

Update (1:35pm CDT): Oops, title should read "This Friday," not "The Friday." It's the Monday, and the part of my brain that deals with the definite articles in the grammar is obviously still alseep.

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