TV Alert! – “Seeing in the Dark”

For those of you out there who might be interested in just what astronomy – especially amateur astronomy – is all about, there’s a television special for you airing on Wednesday, September 19th on PBS.

It is titled “Seeing in the Dark” and it is a film by noted author Timothy Ferris.

Stargazing is the subject of Seeing in the Dark, a 60-minute, state-of-the-art, high-definition (HDTV) documentary by Timothy Ferris that premieres on PBS September 19, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. The film, Ferris’ third, is based on his book, Seeing in the Dark (2002), named by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of the year.

Seeing in the Dark is meant to alter, inspire and illuminate the lives of millions,” said Ferris. “It introduces viewers to the rewards of first-person, hands-on astronomy — from kids learning the constellations to amateur astronomers doing professional-grade research in discovering planets and exploding stars. I hope it will encourage many viewers to make stargazing part of their lives, and a few to get into serious amateur astronomy.”

Locally the show will air on WGVU Channel 35 & 52 at 8.00pm EDT, with a repeat on Friday at 2.00am.

We encourage anyone with an interest in astronomy to watch this program. And as a bonus, after the feature, there will be a repeat showing of the program “The Sidewalk Astronomer” about the life of John Dobson…

On any given night around the world, thousands of people peer into deep space because of John Dobson. A 91-year-old with a white ponytail and a knack for comedy, John Dobson revolutionized astronomy. He is the inventor of the Dobsonian telescope mount, which changed the field of astronomy dramatically, making telescopes accessible to the public on every continent. A former Vedanta monk of the Ramakrishna Order, he is a co-founder of “Sidewalk Astronomers,” an organization that encourages amateurs to share their telescopes and knowledge with others on busy city streets and in national parks. As John says, “The Universe is bigger than the Earth; it’s bigger than the solar system; it’s bigger than our galaxy and we owe it to ourselves to notice it.”

For more information on “Seeing in the Dark” please check out the PBS website, and the companion website to the film.

And after seeing both of these programs, come out and see your local amateur astronomers at the James C. Veen Observatory. You’ll get to see up close and personal just what astronomers do.

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