Sunday, November 21, 2021

Universe Revealed

PBS NOVA · 2021 · Narrator: Talithia Williams


In this five-part series, NOVA delves into the vastness of space to capture moments of high drama when the universe changed forever. State-of-the-art animation gives us astonishing, photo-realistic glimpses of the birth of a star in a stellar nursery, the chaos created as two galaxies collide, and the power of a super-massive black hole as it flings a star across space so violently that it's still traveling 10 million years later. NOVA even takes viewers back on the ultimate time travel voyage, to witness the birth of space and time itself. Informed by huge advances in scientific understanding, the series brings us face-to-face with the most surprising characters in the cosmos and reveals how their fates are intertwined with our own. Take a ringside seat for the greatest show in the universe.

I confess feeling simultaneous embarrassment and exhilaration while watching this series, as I learned something I did not know in each episode. Don't get me wrong: you could fill the Grand Canyon with Things I Don't Know, even if you limit it to Things I Should Know. I'll take the hits to my ego to add "Fermi bubbles" to my vocabulary. 

I think this series incorporates nicely into NGSS Physics of the Universe. Especially Segment 6. And there is a refreshing diversity among the on-screen content experts that has been missing from astronomy documentaries of yesteryear.

Watch this on the biggest screen you can manage. The visuals are gorgeous, and the sounds fill the room.

Universe Revealed on Teachers Pay Teachers


The sun is our life-giving source of light, heat, and energy, and new discoveries are unraveling its epic history. Join NOVA on a spectacular voyage to discover the sun’s place in a grand cycle of birth, death and renewal that makes this the age of stars. Witness how stars of every size and color came to populate our universe; how stars stage a dramatic exit when they explode as supernovae, which can outshine an entire galaxy; and how, billions of years in the future, the age of stars will lead ultimately to an age of darkness.

Featuring Gibor Basri, Sownak Bose, Emma Chapman, David Charbonneau, Christopher Chen, Payel Das, Courtney Dressing, Rana Ezzeddine, Lucie Green, Ghina Halabi, Nia Imara, Kelly Korreck, Philip Muirhead, Eugene Parker, Raman Prinja, Grant Tremblay, and Anjali Tripathi.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Beyond the Elements

PBS NOVA · 2020 · Presenter: David Pogue

Picking up where he left off in NOVA's popular special, Hunting the Elements, David Pogue sets out on a worldwide quest to find the key molecules and chemical reactions that have paved the way for human civilization, life, and even the universe as we know it. And along the way, he uncovers the simple principles that produce such a dizzying diversity of matter from elements on the periodic table.

Beyond the Elements on Teachers Pay Teachers


Just about every solid, liquid, or gas in the world as we know it begins with reactions between individual atoms and molecules. Host David Pogue dives into the transformative world of chemical reactions, from the complex formula that produces cement to the single reaction that’s allowed farmers to feed a global population by the billions—a reaction that when reversed, unleashes the powerful chemistry of high explosives.

Featuring Eric Buchanan, Edward Cussler, Joseph Franek, John Goetz, Juliette Gorson, Theodore Gray, John Hayes, Mandë Holford, Cory Marquart, and Tom Pleva.