Saturday, March 17, 2012

Science Saturday: Stargazing With Dara O'Briain and Brian Cox

I watch a lot of QI with the boy, and as such I've become familiar with assorted (mostly British) comedians and celebrities.

This "Stargazing" series has been at the top of DocumentaryHeaven's page for a while now, and at first I ignored it because I didn't know who Dara O'Briain or Brian Cox were.  But once I learned that they were funny (the both) and a science rockstar (Professor Cox), I decided to go back and have a watch.

Stargazing Live is actually a "docu-mini series" of sorts: the are three episodes, each about an hour long. I only had time to watch the first one; the other two are queued up for later.

The good: Everything is very casual and easy to follow along. There's also good instructional bits for how to use a telescope and how to take pictures with your telescope. It also focuses a lot on my favorite planet, Jupiter.

The bad: Sometimes it comes off as a bit too gimmicky and pandering.

One interesting fact: Most of Stargazing Live was filmed at the Lovell telescope in Britain. It's a pretty big deal telescope, and pretty old (as far as space technology goes). It monitored Sputnik in orbit back in the 60s. Scientists at Lovell actually intercepted top secret Soviet photos that Sputknik took of the moon and printed them out on a fax machine!

Would recommend? If you're a stargazing or astronomy nut (like me); if you have a crush on Dara O'Briain or Brian Cox (like me). I suppose for anyone else it might be a bit dull?

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