Wonders of the Universe (DVD)
"Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we come from? These are among the most enduring and profound questions we can ask, and it is an essential part of human nature to want to find the answers. We can trace our ancestry back hundreds of thousands of years to the dawn of humankind, but in reality our story extends much further back: it starts with the beginning of the universe. Our universe began 13.7 billion years ago, and today it is filled with over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars and a breathtaking array of wonders. In this groundbreaking new series, Professor B Cox tells the epic story of the universe and shows how its story is also our story. "
Wonders of the Universe
is a lovely, sometimes surreal journey to the edges of reality and back--and a fully entertaining experience right here on planet Earth. British scientist Brian Cox is a personable host for this BBC miniseries--an enthusiastic teacher who could be Carl Sagan's English offspring. Wonders of the Universe
is a follow-up to Wonders of the Solar System
, and some of the same territory is covered. But Wonders of the Universe
contains plenty of amazing information and visuals in its four episodes. Cox and his producers don't claim to speak to the scientific community (for which he and the series have received some mild complaints) but instead present for the lay audience a basic overview of four pretty giant topics: "Destiny" (the laws of the universe), "Stardust" (how stars and solar systems--and life--are formed), "Falling" (the science of gravity), and "Messengers" (the study of the travel of light, and what might lie beyond the farthest reaches of our knowledge). If the topics are big, Cox's approach is down-to-earth and infectiously captivating. It's hard to imagine a more enthusiastic scientist just brimming with superlatives he wants to share with his audience. The photography, and Cox's travels to little-known ancient ruins around the world where prehistoric peoples built structures to study the stars, are both truly heavenly. Wonders of the Universe
makes understanding the barely comprehensible easy and very enjoyable. Great for star watchers of all ages. --A.T. Hurley