PBS’s new science series, NOVA Universe Revealed, premieres tonight, October 27, at 9:00 p.m. EDT (01:00 GMT on October 28).
Space.com got a preview of the five-part series, which takes viewers on an epic journey through the cosmos. The hour-long first episode focuses on our sun and the stars that love it. Entitled “Age of Stars,” it explores a star’s life and death cycle, including stunning archival footage from ESA, the Hubble Space Telescope, and NASA, among other space organizations. Images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory provide a magnificent look at our sun. Scientists interviewed in the episode explain how a star was born and how it explodes into a supernova, and speculate on an ultimate dark age.
Upcoming episodes will explore other parts of the universe, including our Milky Way galaxy, the search for extraterrestrial life on other planets, black holes and the big Bang. All episodes feature photorealistic animations, stunning photos, archival footage from space missions, and commentary from a diverse set of scientists.
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When deciding which five topics NOVA Universe Revealed would tackle, there was only one that NOVA executive producer Chris Schmidt worried about making a success of: the Big Bang.
“Stars, black holes, alien worlds and galaxies – these are all objects with edges,” he told Space.com. “How do you make the story of everything?”
In the end, the episode worked wonderfully. It opens with images of many of the universe’s most spectacular sites, from pulsars to massive black holes, and humanity’s mission to explore the universe’s greatest mysteries. From there, the episode looks at the universe upside down from a human perspective: we go back from the beginning of human life on Earth to the beginning of our galaxy, to the beginning of the universe and we let’s even speculate on the moments before the Big Bang.
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This episode, along with the others, works so well because it tells the story of the universe in a way that NOVA viewers can connect with.
“There is a moment at the end [of the Big Bang episode] where Jim Gates recognizes the idea that everything we are made of is just matter that was created with the Big Bang, ”Schmidt said.“ And to that extent, we are part of the universe. “
Schmidt hopes this poetic idea, that all humans are an intrinsic part of the universe, will captivate viewers. “It’s a great opportunity to take a moment and look up from your feet,” he said. While we are all preoccupied with our daily lives, it can be interesting and inspiring to consider the vast universe that exists beyond our skies.
NOVA Universe Revealed was created in collaboration with BBC Studios Science Unit. New episodes will air every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET / 8CT, with the final episode airing on November 24. All five episodes are currently available for free streaming on pbs.org/nova and on the PBS video app.
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