Science and Nature

Ancient Skies

Discover how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors understand the mysteries of space. Expert contributors decode astronomical myths and uncover the science behind their origins.

Our Place in the Universe

54m 38s

In Episode 3, we complete the puzzle of our ancient skies, collecting the missing pieces required for an accurate model of our universe. We break through the spheres that defined our skies for millennia, abandon the long-held idea of circular orbits, discover new neighbors in our solar system, and begin to comprehend the enormity of our ever-growing universe.

Episodes

  • Our Place in the Universe: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Our Place in the Universe

    S1 E3 - 54m 38s

    In Episode 3, we complete the puzzle of our ancient skies, collecting the missing pieces required for an accurate model of our universe. We break through the spheres that defined our skies for millennia, abandon the long-held idea of circular orbits, discover new neighbors in our solar system, and begin to comprehend the enormity of our ever-growing universe.

  • Finding the Center: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Finding the Center

    S1 E2 - 55m 14s

    Episode two of this landmark series delves further into our ancient understanding of the skies above. After exploring the mysterious creatures living at the edge of the world, we follow the story of our earth as it takes shape and a place in the cosmos in the minds of great astronomers and scientists including Ptolemy, Copernicus and Galileo.

  • Gods and Monsters: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Gods and Monsters

    S1 E1 - 55m 15s

    In this episode we explore the origins of our relationship with the skies. From our earliest ancestors we discover how we used the skies to navigate and tell time, and how we gave religious significance to the things we saw in it. We finish on the cusp of a revolution that gave birth to modern science.

Extras + Features

  • Shattering the Spheres: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Shattering the Spheres

    S1 E3 - 2m 16s

    Danish Astronomer Tycho Brahe's observations of the Great Comet of 1577 overturn 1,500 years of scientific belief when he uses them to prove that planets do not orbit inside concentric crystalline spheres.

  • The Marine Chronometer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Marine Chronometer

    S1 E3 - 2m 9s

    Take a closer look at John Harrison's Marine Chronometer, the device that solved the longitude problem.

  • Cannon Shot to the Moon: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Cannon Shot to the Moon

    S1 E3 - 2m 4s

    Hear Jules Verne's story of an American Gun Club, which shot a projectile containing three men to the moon, from a giant cannon.

  • The Universe is Expanding: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Universe is Expanding

    S1 E3 - 2m 56s

    Georges Lemaître, Belgian priest and astronomer, used Albert Einstein's equations from the Theory of General Relativity to propose that the universe is expanding.

  • Episode 3 Preview | Our Place in the Universe: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 3 Preview | Our Place in the Universe

    S1 E3 - 30s

    In Episode 3, we complete the puzzle of our ancient skies, collecting the missing pieces required for an accurate model of our universe. We break through the spheres that defined our skies for millennia, abandon the long-held idea of circular orbits, discover new neighbors in our solar system, and begin to comprehend the enormity of our ever-growing universe.

  • Galileo's Discoveries: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Galileo's Discoveries

    S1 E2 - 2m 38s

    Take an in depth look at the celestial bodies discovered by Italian Renaissance astronomer Galileo Galilei, as he used his telescopes to look further into space than anyone had ever seen before.

  • Episode 2 Preview | Finding the Center: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Episode 2 Preview | Finding the Center

    S1 E2 - 30s

    Episode two of this landmark series delves further into our ancient understanding of the skies above. After exploring the mysterious creatures living at the edge of the world, we follow the story of our earth as it takes shape and a place in the cosmos in the minds of great astronomers and scientists including Ptolemy, Copernicus and Galileo.

  • The Edge of the World: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Edge of the World

    S1 E2 - 1m 52s

    Explore the ancient Greek myth of Odysseus, who encountered Scylla and Charybdis as he sailed toward the edge of the known world.

  • Earth-Centered Cosmos: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Earth-Centered Cosmos

    S1 E2 - 1m 58s

    Explore ancient astronomer Ptolemy's model of the cosmos, which placed the Earth at the center of everything.

  • The Enuma Elis: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Enuma Elis

    S1 E1 - 1m 45s

    Get a glimpse into the Enuma Elis, the Babylonian myth that is the earliest surviving complete creation story.

  • Celestial Alignment: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Celestial Alignment

    S1 E1 - 2m 3s

    Astronomer Phil Plait explains how ancient civilizations used the skies to accurately align their buildings to the points of the compass.

  • The Story of Icarus: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Story of Icarus

    S1 E1 - 3m 5s

    Ancient Skies recounts the Ancient Greek myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, through detailed animation.

Schedule

  • Image
    Ancient Skies: TVSS: Iconic

    Ancient Skies

    Gods and Monsters

    Monday
    Jul 26

    1 Hour

    Exploring the relationship between humans and the skies, from how ancestors used the sky to navigate and tell time to the birth of modern science.
  • Image
    Ancient Skies: TVSS: Iconic

    Ancient Skies

    Finding the Center

    Monday
    Jul 26

    1 Hour

    Tracking major changes in scientific understanding about Earth, from flat Earth legends to Galileo's telescope.
  • Image
    Ancient Skies: TVSS: Iconic

    Ancient Skies

    Our Place in the Universe

    Monday
    Jul 26

    1 Hour

    Moments in history that reshape the solar system and provide an understanding of the universe.

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