View Full Version : BA in History Channel's "The Universe - Alien Moons" episode

2008-Jan-09, 05:46 PM
In the episode "Alien Moons" of the History Channel's The Universe series, the narrator described the surface temperature of Europa as cold -- "as low as minus 550 degrees Fahrenheit in some places".

I'm sure you all see the obvious problem with that statement.

First post! Hi, I'm Bob, and I own a telescope :).

2008-Jan-09, 07:31 PM
Hi, Bob! Welcome to BAUT.

C'mon, are you trying to say that -550F isn't cold? I mean, that's colder than cold! ;)

(Oh, let's move this to Small Media; seems a better fit.)

2008-Jan-09, 08:42 PM
Absolute zero schmapsolute zero...nothing's absolute.
The molecules on/around the surface of Europa have so little movement that they actually move, but in a negative fashion.

2008-Jan-09, 10:11 PM
Wow, that's terrible. I'm so disappointed to hear how inaccurate this series turned out to be. And to think there are advertisements for it at Kennedy's visitor center... I know Nasa doesn't really run that place, but still.

2008-Jan-10, 01:52 AM
Well, they were pretty good about the moons of Mars and explaining why they won't be around someday...and overall, featured great graphics. :)

2008-Jan-10, 02:48 PM
Overall, I think its a pretty good show. But; I do see it going down hill, and this episode did make me cringe quite a bit.

They seemed to talk a lot in absolutes in this show where they do not fit.

For example, they talked about skylab and how it made the ionosphere virtually disappear. NO... it made an area, or some, or some other qualifier disappear. By using the absolute "the" you are saying the whole thing virtually disappeared.

There were many other examples, but I really don't remember them.

2008-Jan-10, 03:51 PM
The show is for the most part OK, but every now and then they drop a boner that calls their whole fact checking into question.

Also on the Alien Moons episode, there was no mention of Titan at all. As moons go, they don't get much aliener. Maybe they're saving it for a follow-up episode or something.

2008-Jan-10, 04:42 PM
I see this as more in the general trend away from good, fact-based science shows and towards the flashier crap we see now.

2008-Jan-10, 04:50 PM
I see this as more in the general trend away from good, fact-based science shows and towards the flashier crap we see now.

They should be able to do both. I don't mind flash, as long as the science is good. On the Europa issue, a quick Google would've told them that the temperature is -260F. It's just as easy to get it right as wrong. Cheap, too -- have a grad student proof the scripts before production, or one of the many "real" scientists that do sound bites for the show. Then you could have a show that was whiz-bang flashy while scientifically accurate.