Amateur Astronomy on TV

ClockDrive Productions
Sometimes we Sky & Telescope editors work so far in advance (we're finishing off the December issue now) that we forget what's happening in the current month. Events have a tendency to sneak up on us. So I almost forgot that Timothy Ferris' film Seeing in the Dark will air on PBS Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. Eastern time (check your local listings). I reviewed the show in the September issue (page 73) and can't wait to watch it for the third time — this time in full high definition.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the companion website for the show, which wasn't running when the review was published. The site is packed with good stuff, including an interactive sky chart from Software Bisque and a request form to use the Internet-accessible telescope that Team Bisque assembled for the film (students only, however).

There are also lots of articles, instructional videos, details about the people featured in the film, and resources and activities for teachers and families. It's a great site to bookmark to have handy well after the show has aired.

2 thoughts on “Amateur Astronomy on TV

  1. Stuart Goldman

    The show was indeed better in hi-def. However, I was a bit annoyed that PBS decided to do the commercial-network standard of speeding up the closing credits well beyond the level of readability. Will PBS do quickie-credits for Ken Burns’s WWII documentary? I refer PBS to Lewis Black’s tirade on Sunday’s Emmy Award broadcast.

  2. Zooball

    I’m glad something was put on the air about why we go out to dark lonely places to pursue our hobby. Well done overall, but I thought it had a weakness in leaving eyeball Dob pushers like me behind. I understand the premise, though, in showing just how advanced amateur astronomy can be.

    An 8/10.

    Also, the show would have been much stronger as a series. Why doesn’t S&T do a show? I can easily imagine it would be better than 99% of the garbage that comes through my satellite dish now.

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