KUED Airs Special Night of Space Programming
Leading up to the November 28 appearance of the Comet ISON, KUED presents a special night of space-related programs on Wednesday, November 20.
NOVA: At the Edge of Space
Wed. Nov. 20, 7PM
Between the blue sky above us and the infinite blackness of space lies a frontier that scientists have only just begun to investigate. NOVA takes viewers on an exploration of the earth-space boundary zone that's home to the shimmering aurora, streaking meteors, and fleeting flashes that shoot upwards from thunderclouds, known as sprites. Only discovered in 1989, sprites have eluded capture because they flicker into existence for a mere split-second — 40 times faster than an eye blink. Combining advanced video technology with sequences shot from the International Space Station, NOVA probes the enigmas of the boundary zone.
NOVA: Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday?
Wed. Nov. 20, 8PM
From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, asteroids have the potential to be killers. In a collision with Earth, they could set off deadly blast waves, raging fires, and colossal tidal waves. But some audacious entrepreneurs look at asteroids and see payday, not doomsday. Some asteroids are loaded with billions of dollars’ worth of elements like iron, nickel, and even platinum. While NASA plans an ambitious mission to obtain samples from a potentially hazardous asteroid, would-be asteroid miners are dreaming up their own program to scout for potentially profitable asteroids. Will asteroids turn out to be our economic salvation — or instruments of extinction?
The Comet of the Century
Wed. Nov. 20, 9PM
Astronomers say that on November 28, Comet ISON will fly through the sun’s atmosphere. If it survives, it could blossom into a striking object, glowing as brightly as the moon and making it briefly visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. The comet’s dusty tail stretching into the night sky could create a worldwide sensation. Some reporters are already calling it the “Comet of the Century,” but NASA says that could be premature because comets are notoriously unpredictable. Whether it will be the brightest and biggest or a dud remains to be seen. This hour-long special includes breathtaking images of Comet ISON as it races past Earth toward the sun.