Monster of the Milky Way

By Phil Plait | October 30, 2006 2:18 pm

I suspect tomorrow will be a big news day what with the Hubble announcement and all, so I’ll take the time now to let y’all know that Tuesday (Halloween) night at 8:00 p.m. local time, PBS will air a NOVA program called "Monster of the Milky Way". It’s about the search for supermassive black holes in other galaxies and at the center of our own.

I have not seen the show, but I’ve seen clips — the show was sponsored in part by the Gamma ray Large Area Space Telescope mission, and my group at Sonoma State University works on the education and public outreach arm of the mission. I wasn’t terribly involved with the NOVA show, but I did edit the script a wee bit, and it looks like it’ll be very cool, with amazing graphics, and good stuff from scientists involved with searching for black holes (including an old friend I went to grad school– hi Brian!). It’s a sort-of companion piece to the planetarium show we (the GLAST mission) helped develop as well, though both shows of course stand alone.

Too bad it’s on right when I’ll be expecting trick-or-treaters! Hopefully by 8:00 things will — haha — die down a bit, and I can watch the show. It’s broadcast in high-definition, which will be awesome, and will eventually be available for free download (in much lower res, of course) from the PBS website.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, NASA, Science

Comments (11)

Links to this Post

  1. Monster repeat | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | September 23, 2008
  1. ABR

    Trick-or-treating at the Bad Astronomy household…I assume there will be a bowl full of Milky Way and Mars bars, but what, I wonder, passes for astronomical tricks?

  2. Just FYI – It’s repeating on some PBS stations this Thursday!

  3. DrFlimmer

    Phil, will you be so kind to post the link to the download if they publish one?

  4. Carey

    Ahhh, any excuse to watch something in HD!

  5. Troy

    It would be funny if they did a cookie monster parody…Stars and planets yum!
    Welll not really but it is funny for the blog.

  6. DrFlimmer, the download link will be on that PBS page to which I linked. Chances are I’ll post it again once it’s live though. :-) And Bootlady, thanks for the tip. I’d love a chance to catch it again.

  7. Chip

    Thank you Phil. (And thank you Tivo!)

  8. anomalous4

    “It would be funny if they did a cookie monster parody…Stars and planets yum!”

    Maybe this is why they didn’t:

    “If moon was cookie, it wouldn’t be fine,
    ‘Cause if me ate it up, then it wouldn’t shine,
    So not like to say it, but it’s plain to see,
    It’s lucky the moon is no-o-o-o-ot — a cookie.”

    Just two brass farthings’ worth from the mother of a former 3-year-old. Gimme cookie!

  9. Tushar Tyagi

    The documentary makes me hypothesize that probably spiral galaxies are made from
    spherical galaxies because of the super massive black hole in their center.
    What formed first, the spherical galaxy of the black hole in the centre, is a
    seperate topic.
    But as explained in the program, the galaxies would start as normal spherical
    ones and the black holes jets would create these huge voids in two opposite
    directions due to there sterilization effect on normal gas and matter.
    These voids would create a gravitational imbalance in the structure of the
    spherical galaxy forcing it to collapse into a spiral disc shaped one,
    with the jets perpendicular to the plane of the spiral galaxies disc.

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