NOVA: Hunting The Edge Of Space
Airs Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 9 p.m. & 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
In a two-hour special, NOVA examines how a simple instrument, the telescope, has fundamentally changed our understanding of our place in the universe. What began as a curiosity — two spectacle lenses held a foot apart — ultimately revolutionized human thought across science, philosophy and religion.
This tale of human ingenuity involves some of the most colorful figures of the scientific world — Galileo, Kepler, Newton, William Herschel, George Hale and Edwin Hubble — leading up to today’s colossal telescopes, housed in space-age cathedrals or orbiting high above the Earth.
Now, at the center of an international space race, a new generation of ever-larger telescopes is poised to reveal answers to longstanding questions about our universe — and, in turn, to raise new questions.
This episode brings viewers up close with today’s most powerful telescopes and embarks on a stunning journey to the planets and moons now being imaged as never before in history.
Now, modern telescopes have added a mysterious new twist to the plot: The vast majority of the stuff of the universe is invisible, tied up in dark matter and dark energy. But what are these mysterious dark forces?
A new generation of telescopes is embarking on a mission impossible to see the unseeable and answer one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the cosmos.