School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 6-12-Originally broadcast on the Science Channel, this program is hosted and narrated by Bill Nye, "the Science Guy." With a slight condescending tone and a physicist who mentions magic in the same sentence with science, Nye and his on-screen experts take us quickly through 13 of the greatest discoveries in the history of astronomy. Among them are Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo's discoveries; Halley's prediction of a comet that reappears every 76 years; Herschel's discovery of Uranus and catalog of stars; Einstein's theory of relativity; Hubble's 1924 discovery that the universe is expanding; the Big Bang theory; the discovery of black holes, quasars, and pulsars; and much more. For a big finish, Saul Pelmutter, an observational cosmologist, explains the "dark energy" theory and the new sophisticated telescopes in space that indicate that the universe is accelerating. For the most part, these male astronomers and physicists offer easily understood explanations concerning these complex topics. On-screen text prompts and some helpful animations help Nye provide viewers with a quick but useful history of astronomy. An audio glitch or two interrupt an otherwise polished program that would generate interest for further study by science classes. It also could be used to introduce the topic on the first day of a high school astronomy class.-Joan Karasick, Greenwich High School, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.