Search - 400 Years of the Telescope on DVD

400 Years of the Telescope
400 Years of the Telescope
Actor: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Director: Kris Koenig
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 0min

A documentary following the history of the telescope from the days of Copernicus to recent findings from the Hubble Telescope; 400 Years of the Telescope opens in 17th century Florence, Italy, with Galileo training his spy...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Director: Kris Koenig
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/12/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Inspiring film, wish it was longer
William L. Wilson | Granger, IN United States | 06/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Everything about this film is top notch, except at 60 minutes, I was left wanting more. Every one of the 60 minutes in the film is a gem, but it's so well done that you wish it could have been a 90 or 120 minute piece.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a fine narrator, and his enthusiasm for the topic is present without sneaking through. Dr. Tyson loves astronomy, and sometimes his excitement can overwhelm. Here, he is right on the mark.

If you have even the most remote interest in astronomy or science, you'll enjoy this movie. You may also find yourself looking at telescope prices so that you can have the same experience as Galileo. (Quick bit of advice: if you do shop for telescopes, ignore claims of "power." What you really want is light-gathering ability, or the size of the lens. The bigger the scope, the more you'll get to see.)"
Misleading Title
Normand Hamel | Laval, Quebec | 01/19/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is very well made. It is obviously targeted at a general audience. But the title is misleading. When I made the purchase on Amazon I was expecting to get a complete history of the telescope. To me that is what "400 Years of the Telescope" means. What we get instead is a bit of the beginnings of the telescope, like when Newton invented the reflector, and then we switch quickly to the modern instruments of today like Palomar. There is also a lot a time used to dwell on the grand projects of future telescope building. So it does cover 400 years, but there is nothing in between! So on that account I was disappointed and that is why I gave it only three stars.

Actually, the way this documentary was put together was more to give us a brief history of astronomy than a history of the telescope itself. There would have been so much to say about Herschel, Fraunhofer, Huygens, Cassegrain, etc... But if you are interested in the history of the telescope, like I am, you can read Fred Watson or Henry C. King."
Needs to be longer
Harvey Sugar | Washington, DC | 12/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This program needed to be a mini-series rather than a one hour program. There were too many historic and scientific facts crammed into too little time. As a result much of the excitement and passion of astronomy was left out. The bigger questions, such as "How did the Universe Begin?", "How will it end", and "Is there life in other places in the Universe" were quickly skimmed over or not discussed at all.

If I wanted to inspire someone's interest in science and the Universe I think the PBS series "The Astronomers" would be a much better choice in spite of it being rather dated."