Monday, Aug. 9, 2010

The Universe in Blu-ray

By David Luhrssen
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“The Universe” series has been one of the History Channel’s great successes for factual narratives well grounded despite climbing into the heights of the unknown. Episodes dealing with our Sun and its satellites have been collected on a two-disc Blu-ray set, “The Universe: Our Solar System.”

The kinetic visuals maintain a relentless pace even during the sound bites from astronomers and astrobiologists—interesting snippets from what one imagines are fascinating, longer conversations. The episodes are packed with information and what can only be informed speculation. For example, no one really understands Jupiter, essentially a gigantic storm system coalesced into a planet. No life can be discerned anywhere outside Earth, although the prospect of ice on Mars and subsurface water on the moons of Jupiter gives rise to the possibility that some organisms might be swimming beyond our view.

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