Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey

If you missed the premiere of this awesome show last night, you can catch it tonight on National Geographic at 9/10 Eastern. Trust me, it is worth your while to watch this and record it for posterity so that this series doesn’t survive only in bootlegged editions like the first one from 1980 did.

Last year, FOX announced that they were going to redo and bring up-to-date the series that Carl Sagan had done in the late 1970s called Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. In that era, the show made use of some of the most high-end computer graphics and camera effects to help bring the story of the entire universe to life for the audience. Aimed at those who were not scientists but had the same innate curiosity and wonder about the workings of the cosmos as any astrophysicist, Cosmos went on to become something of a landmark show in the geek crowd. Using language that was both precise but easy-to-understand in its elegance, Sagan helped introduce many children and adults to the fundamentals of the space age.

In the thirty-four years since the first Cosmos aired, science has advanced by leaps and bounds. The optics in our telescopes have improved. The lenses in the cameras on our space probes, landers, and satellites are much better and more powerful. And those advances have trickled down to the photography market, helping to improve cameras for everyone. We’ve learned so much more about the universe than we knew in the late 1970s and Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey shows that in more than just its top-notch special effects, computer graphics, and camera effects. With shows like this, it’s easy to believe that we’ll not only see another generation of scientists, engineers, and space explorers come up, but we’ll also continue to see improvements in optics and data processing that will improve consumer-grade goods like televisions and cameras.

So, if you have the chance to watch this show, do so. If you don’t, then see if you can find someone to record it for you and send you the DVD. No word out from Fox yet as to whether or not it will be available for sale or digital download after the airing.

— da Bird