The Known Universe – a film from the American Museum of Natural History

May 23, 2015

Where many journeys to the stars, start:

Where many journeys to the stars, start: “Hayden planetarium at night” by Alfred Gracombe – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons. The Hayden Planetarium is part of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

I’ve been known to answer a snarky question from a student, “where are we, really, in the universe, and how do we know the Sun doesn’t orbit the Earth?” with a showing of the Eames’s “Powers of Ten.”

But those films, great as they are, show some age.

Among other things, we know a lot more about the cosmos now, than we did then.

In 2009 the American Museum of Natural History showed this film, “The Known Universe,” for several months.

For visions of what happens when we leave Earth at faster-than-light speeds, it’s very good!

Information on “The Known Universe”:

Uploaded on Dec 15, 2009

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.

Data: Digital Universe, American Museum of Natural History…

Visualization Software: Uniview by SCISS

Director: Carter Emmart
Curator: Ben R. Oppenheimer
Producer: Michael Hoffman
Executive Producer: Ro Kinzler
Co-Executive Producer: Martin Brauen
Manager, Digital Universe Atlas: Brian Abbott

Music: Suke Cerulo

For more information visit

Tip of the old scrub brush to Jack Mitcham at the Neil de Grasse Tyson group on Facebook.

Ida, our only Darwinius masillae: Are we a lemur’s nephews and neices?

May 22, 2009

She’s being called Ida (EE-duh, to the Brits, EYE-duh to Bob Wills fans).  How could you miss all the hype about her unveiling this week?

Science fans complain that the hype might be over done.  Creationists appear a bit panicked by the developments.

Ida herself?  She’s beautiful.  Here’s an interview with Michael Novacek from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, carried on the public television news program World Focus.

Here’s a collection of British television stories on Ida, including David Attenborough’s animation of the reconstruction of her skeleton — some great graphics:

See also:

%d bloggers like this: