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Thursday, November 7th, 2013


Space Night on PBS


Space Night, part of Exploration Wednesdays, airs November 20th from 7:00 - 10:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1.

Aurora seen from the ISS, from NASA time-lapse footage.

Exploration Wednesdays have been delving into earthly things and how they are made—wilder, faster, colder and safer—and learning how basic ingredients are transformed into powerhouse machines. But on Nov. 20 from 7-10 p.m. on WTVP-HD 47.1, it’s time to explore beyond our own atmosphere during a night devoted to the study of comets, asteroids and fantastical things happening where the heavens meet the Earth.

Between the blue sky above us and the infinite blackness of space lies a frontier full of enigmas that scientists have only just begun to investigate. NOVA “At the Edge of Space” (7 p.m.) takes viewers on a spectacular exploration to probe the earth-space boundary zone, home to some of nature’s most puzzling and alluring phenomena: the shimmering aurora, streaking meteors, and fleeting flashes that shoot upwards from thunderclouds, known as sprites.

From the width of a football field to the size of a small city, the space rocks called asteroids have the potential to be killers. But some asteroids may be loaded with billions of dollars’ worth of iron, nickel and even platinum. Will asteroids turn out to be our economic salvation — or instruments of extinction? Find out more in NOVA “Asteroid: Doomsday or Payday?” (8 p.m.)

And follow a once-in-a-lifetime event as scientists around the world follow the path of the sun-grazing comet ISON. The comet, somewhere between one and 10 kilometers in diameter, is currently just beyond the orbit of Jupiter. As it races past Earth toward the sun, it will likely develop a tail to light up the night skies. Then ISON will slingshot around the back of the sun, to emerge perhaps brighter than ever. But there’s jeopardy, too; ISON could evaporate completely, or the sun’s gravity could tear it apart, producing a so-called “string of pearls” – several small comets arching across the night sky. Don’t miss the breathtaking images captured in Comet Encounter (9 p.m.).





For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org



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