Sunday, March 9, 2014

Time Changes, New 'Cosmos' Premieres Today

Two bits of interesting astro news for the day in that (1) Daylight Savings Time returns and (2) Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey (a modern update to Carl Sagan's iconic 1980 Cosmos mini-series) will premiere tonight on Fox-owned networks all over the country and around the world.

First: time change.

At 2am this morning, the time changetook place as America sprang ahead an hour as Standard Time was be replaced with Daylight Savings Time, which will run through the first week of November. While most lovers of the great outdoors will rejoice, astronomers will not as, thanks to the time shift, dark skies will arrive an hour later than “normal.”

For astronomers, the time change will bring a change to observing patterns as, thanks to the time being pushed ahead an hour, one will have to stay up an hour later than yesterday to observe under dark skies. The good news: at least for now, daybreak will come an hour later but, thanks to the lengthening of the days, this bonus will not last long, so get out and observe in the morning soon!

Next: primetime TV.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will premiere tonight on Fox stations across the nation. To create even more excitement, the series was a collaboration between Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan, Family Guy creator Seth MacFairlane, who took great inspiration from the original version, ans Steve Soter, who was instrumental in making the original a reality.

So, what of the series?

Unfortunately, to keep the hype at a fever pitch, tight wraps are being kept on the exact nature of the show. However, what has been revealed is that it takes a lot of inspiration from the original. Sagan's Space Ship of the Imagination is back, as are the historical sketches (this time cartoons) and the Cosmic Calendar, and the overall sense of wonder created by the original. New are recent discoveries in science and updated special effects.

As for what will be on TV tonight, the first episode it titled “Standing Up in the Milky Way” and reintroduces viewers to the Space Ship of the Imagination and Cosmic Calendar while telling the story of Giordano Bruno, an Italian burned at the stake in 1600 for teaching, correctly, that there are other planets circling other stars, which were merely Suns at a great distance.

The series will premiere tonight at 9pm EDT
on Fox, National Geographic Channel, FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and Fox Life. On Monday (March 10) it airs again on National Geographic at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Tune in, I will . . .

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