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2012/05/12 Earth and Space Shows
π 2012-05-12 01:01 in Public
I've been a fan for TV shows on the universe, the creation of our solar system, and our earth. Below are a few that I recommend.

  • Did you know that we've found convincing fossil evidence that the earth day used to be 18 hours and the earth year was 420 days? (apparently the earth day used to be as short as 6 hours in very early earth).
  • Did you know that a convincing theory explains how the earth and moons were created by the impact of a protoplanet (Theia) and then earth? (which is why the moon has very similar composition compared to the earth): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis
  • Did you also know that the moon used to be a *lot* closer to the earth, causing giant tides, which were partially responsible for slowing down the earth rotation, and the the moon is slowly spinning away from us (at about 2cm per year, which we do measure with a laser we can bounce off a mirror on the moon).
  • The moon gravity effects on us and resulting tides have been slowing down the earth have been lengthening the earth day due to friction. This is why we have leap seconds to account for the fact that our days are getting just a tiny bit longer every year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second
  • Some of it is recent science, but I wish I had learned about it in school instead of the centuries of long dead french kings and their families :)

    Here are the documentaries I recommend:

  • How the earth was made: http://www.history.com/shows/how-the-earth-was-made
  • It has some episodes that are better than others, but the first 2 episodes on the continents have useful information.

  • Catastrophe from BBC: http://www.streaming-madness.net/watch-online/documentary/catastrophe-2008/
  • It's the most informative series I found on the creation of earth, explaining how the earth and the moon were created by impacts of proto planets, and how the earth day used to be a long shorter (earth spinning faster) and the moon a lot closer to us.

  • Wonder of the Solar System: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonders_of_the_Solar_System and http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qyxfb
  • It's a really good BBC documentary. It doesn't deal with the early creation of the earth as much, but it's well worth watching.

  • Nova, Finding Life Beyond Earth: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/finding-life-beyond-earth.html
  • Very good 2H Nova episode on how life exists on earth in the most unlikely places, and how it could be found on Mars, Titan, Europa, and other possible places (primitive bacterial life of course, not martians :)


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