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400 Years Of The Telescope

Airs Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Mark Giampapa, Ph.D., deputy director, National Solar Observatory, explains t...

Credit: Courtesy of Courtesy of Interstellar Studios

Above: Mark Giampapa, Ph.D., deputy director, National Solar Observatory, explains the significance of Galileo's discoveries in "400 Years Of The Telescope."

Beautifully photographed in 4K digital cinematography, "400 Years Of The Telescope" is a visually stunning chronicle of the history of the telescope from the time of Galileo, its profound impact upon the science of astronomy, and how both shape the way we view ourselves in the midst of an infinite universe.

The film features interviews with leading astrophysicists and cosmologists from the world's renowned universities and observatories, who explain concepts ranging from Galileo's act of revealing the cosmos with a simple telescope, to the latest discoveries in space, including startling new ideas about life on other planets and dark energy — a mysterious vacuum energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

On the horizon, viewers learn of emergent telescopes the size of stadiums. With unprecedented resolution and light gathering, these enormous new instruments will look back to the initial moments of the Big Bang and – like Galileo’s first telescopic observations – will reshape our model of the universe. Narrated by NOVA's Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Watch insightful and educational video clips drawn from over 70 hours of interviews with the world's leading figures in astronomy, shot during the filming of "400 Years of the Telescope."

Preview: 400 Years Of The Telescope

Watch the full episode. See more PBS Presents.

This visually stunning program chronicles a sweeping journey, from 1609, when Galileo revealed mankind's place in the galaxy, to today's thrilling quests to discover new worlds in the universe. Narrated by NOVA's Neil deGrasse Tyson, the compelling program takes viewers on an adventure through the heavens and around the globe, visiting the world's leading astronomers, cosmologists and observatories.

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