Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Io" Episode of Wonders of the Solar System on TV Tonight

Just a quick reminder to my readers in the US that the "Io" episode of the Science Channel mini-series, Wonders of the Solar System, is on tonight at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT. An encore presentation will air at 12am EDT/9pm PDT in case you missed it the first go around. The five-part series, a production of the BBC, is hosted by Brian Cox, a particle physicist from the Univ. of Manchester. The show aired back in its home country earlier this year. The episode is actually titled, "Dead or Alive", and the topic up for discussion is planetary geology.  In addition to the extensive discussion of Io's volcanism, the episode also focuses on volcanism on Mars, Venus, and the Earth as well as impact cratering on the Earth.  If you get the Science Channel (preferably in HD) from your cable, fiber optic, or satellite TV provider, then I would definitely recommend checking it out tonight.  The last episode, which airs next Wednesday, will focus on the potential habitability of Europa and Mars and the influence water has had in shaping many of the worlds of our solar system.

To get a feel for what to expect, one of the people on the BBC Two film crew who produced the series posted some behind the scenes videos on Youtube from the shoot at Erta'ale in Ethiopia:

All I will say is that people who put on gas masks for just a wee bit of sulfur dioxide are silly! Come on! That sulfuric acid that is created in your lungs will put hair on your chest! You wouldn't see Morgan Freeman using a gas mask if he did one of his Wormhole shows from Erta'ale. And in the second video, I have that book! Not the Ethiopia one, the other one! I even wrote a review of it a couple of years back.

One other reminder is that the series will be coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7. Not sure if these are the BBC Two versions that will be released in the US, as they are about 15 minutes longer due to the lack of commercials breaking up the fun.

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