I’m not sure about you, but I miss seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson on NOVA. Good news! He revamped Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and it is airing on Fox (KDVR 31) starting this Sunday at 8. It’s been a great year and a half for science documentaries and books, so if you need more geek in your week, here’s a list:
Some of my current favorite documentaries:
Wonders of the Solar System with Professor Brian Cox.
Professor Cox has this wonderful knack of explaining complex things without dumbing down the content. The BBC really pulled out all of the stops when making this- it is beautifully shot, the music is well chosen and cinematic, and the CG animation is gorgeous. Also, Cox’s explanation of retrograde motion is the first one that I’ve fully understood- and all he used was 2 rocks and a stick!
Wonders of the Universe with Professor Brian Cox.
In this second BBC series, we continue exploring the wonders of space beyond our solar system. In this series, as with the Solar System, Cox relates the workings of space to things in our natural environment.
Secrets of the Sun
Using imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO) and the European Space Agency’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) ,this documentary shows you the sun in ways you’ve never seen before. For real ultimate geekery, check out the SDO website and the ESA’s SOHO website for some amazing images. You can also download the 3D Sun app (for free!) for either the iPhone, iPad, or Android devices. (DPL doesn't own this yet, but I put in a purchase request today and it should be available soon). In the meantime, you can watch it here.
Earth from Space
When this aired, it always came on at 9 and I would always fall asleep before the end. Now you can check it out and watch it before your bedtime! I really enjoy Earth from Space because it’s made almost entirely from satellite footage. You can see how connected different biospheres are and understand why Antarctica is so cold! Did you know that the Amazon rainforest is fertilized by dust particles from the Sahara? Watch and find out how!
Pretty amazing to think that a telescope launched in 1990 and moving at 28,000 kph can still get such crystal clear images of the universe.
Ultimate Mars Challenge
Excited that Curiosity made it over Dingo Gap? Learn all about the rover in this great documentary.
Our Sun: Biography of a Star by Christopher Cooper
Saltscapes by Cris Benton
Earth from Space by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
What space or nature documentaries are you really enjoying right now? I watched the Honey Badger documentary on the PBS app last night and thought it was pretty much the greatest.
Cosmos broke the mold. I learned so much from it. Didn't need cable tv to watch Cosmos either. Degrasse Tyson is perfect.Will see it on Sunday!
Agreed! I'm really glad there is an option to watch it on regular TV. I've read that there are special extras if you watch on the National Geographic channel, but I'll just be glad to see what deGrasse Tyson comes up with for the reboot.
I just recently watched Wonders of the Universe and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it!
- Big huge hot suns heating up dense elements
- Suns imploding then exploding
- Watch Orion's belt any day for a super nova!
It was awesome and I've put myself back on hold for it for another round :)
I also highly recommend an older film by Ray and Charles Eames - Powers of Ten - which will stretch your mind regarding the scale of space and of atoms. It is a bit dated imagery-wise but it still packs a punch in terms of perspective! DPL also has a companion book.
I really liked Powers of Ten! The Eameses did so many incredible things- I enjoyed the special that is on the same DVD as Powers of Ten that showed what their office looked like.
Just returned a book with a collection of black & white satellite photos of Mars called This is Mars. Such amazing detail and interesting geomorphology!
Oh, I haven't seen that one yet. Thanks so much for mentioning it! The cover image looks amazing. I just put it on hold.
For those of you who are interested, DPL doesn't own this book. Here is the full title in case you want it from Prospector:
This Is Mars by Alfred McEwen et al. It was published in 2013.