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Tuesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. 400 Years of the Telescope

(Rochester, NY) Emmy award-winning producer and writer Kris Koenig and the Interstellar Studios production team traveled the globe, visiting the world’s leading astronomers, cosmologists and observatories, to create 400 Years of the Telescope, airing Tuesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1). This visually stunning chronicle takes viewers on a sweeping journey from 1609, when Galileo revealed mankind’s place in its galaxy, to today’s thrilling quests to discover new worlds in the infinite universe. This film has been selected as an official product of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

With narration by top astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (host of PBS’ NOVA scienceNOW), and a lush score by modern English composer Mark Slater performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, this compelling look at both the heavens and earth is the first PBS documentary filmed on 4K Digital Cinema technology. Breathtaking panoramas and imagery from the world’s greatest observatories across five continents, woven with insightful writing, tell the story of the past and the future of telescopes, and our ever-changing perception of the cosmos.

From reenactments of Galileo’s invention and early pen drawings of the moons of Jupiter, to the stunning images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the film takes viewers from their armchairs to the edge of the universe. Today’s leading astronomers enthusiastically explain concepts ranging from Galileo’s act of revealing the telescopic cosmos to humanity to the latest developments in astronomy. With warmth and humor, the planet’s top astrophysicists recall momentous discoveries and discuss new ideas about life on other planets and dark energy – a mysterious vacuum energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe.

Looking into the future, viewers will learn of emergent telescopes the size of stadiums, and a massive radio telescope array that will be perched on one of the highest plateaus on the planet. With unprecedented resolution, light gathering, and sensitivity, these enormous new instruments may detect life outside our solar system, and allow humans to view the initial moments of the Big Bang. Like Galileo’s first telescopic observations, these new technologies will reshape our entire perception of the universe we live in.

Join us in 2009 to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy with this transcendental television event.

For more information, visit http://www.400years.org.

Pictured: Gemini Observatory: Northern Operations Center, located at the Mauna Kea Observatory on the summit of the large dormant volcano, Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, is one of the sites visited in the program.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Interstellar Studios


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