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mike alexander
2004-Feb-12, 05:38 PM
The West Wing episode on 12 Feb gave a very empathic portrayal of NASA, astronomy and the opening wonder of stargazing. I could cavil at seeing Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and Mars within ten degrees of each other and with a single eyepiece, but the wonder of the first-time viewer was captured just about right.

And they used what looked like my scope!

ysandre
2004-Feb-12, 06:07 PM
When the NASA woman said "we have to feed the soul as well" (or something like that) I was astounded, since someone once said almost the exact same thing to me once.
:lol:

Darkwing
2004-Feb-12, 06:51 PM
The West Wing episode on 12 Feb gave a very empathic portrayal of NASA, astronomy and the opening wonder of stargazing. I could cavil at seeing Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and Mars within ten degrees of each other and with a single eyepiece, but the wonder of the first-time viewer was captured just about right.

And they used what looked like my scope!

Good: When they pointed the telescope at Jupiter--they actually showed a picture of Jupiter. When they pointed the telescope at Mars--they actually showed a picture of Mars.
Bad: In both cases, the FOV was also filled with lots of stars. With most telescopes, it's rare to see many stars at all in the same field of view of as a planet. The pictures were also of too high a resolution for an amateur telescope, and did not show any atmospheric distortions. This is all forgivable though.
Good: When they showed the Orion Nebula, they actually showed a picture of the Orion Nebula. Very Good: The picture they showed of the Orion Nebula had no color to it! Contrary to what long time exposure photographs show, when observed through the telescope, nebulae has almost no color at all that our eyes can detect. I was pleasantly surprised that they got this right!
Bad: Too high resolution again, and the nebula was too bright.

All in all, I think they did a fantastic job. Bravo!

mike alexander
2004-Feb-12, 07:06 PM
Agree completely with Darkwing. But from the human perspective, the moment when the guy (what's 'is name?) looks at the Orion Nebula and says, with that breathy catch, "What's THAT?" was exactly, perfectly right. What I called the opening moment, when a person learns there is an unrealized universe never before imagined.

I still remember my moment.

Vega115
2004-Feb-12, 08:02 PM
Best line in that scene:

Josh: I remember my teacher showing us a picture of Jupiter...and all i remember is it's 13 moons. (the line was something like that, i remember the 13 moons part)


NASA Rep.: It has 61.

Josh: Oh....


I was cracking up at that! :lol:

swansont
2004-Feb-12, 11:56 PM
She also gave a brief, reasonable explanation of Rayliegh scattering to explain why the sky is blue.

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Feb-13, 01:12 AM
I was very impressed with last night's episode. Sure, Mars, Jupiter, and M42 won't look like that through an 8" Meade, but the point made was what was important.

Later, he describes the Voyager disk, and the music on it. It was a profoundly moving moment. The writing, acting, and directing on that show can be superior at times.

And of course, we know the writers read this website (http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/egg_spin.html).

AstroSmurf
2004-Feb-13, 10:33 AM
Sounds good, but would someone mind tellling me what kind of show "West Wing" is? I've never heard of it.

Jocke
2004-Feb-13, 10:52 AM
Sounds good, but would someone mind tellling me what kind of show "West Wing" is? I've never heard of it.
"Vita huset". Går på tvåan tror jag.
In english: Question answered.

JohnOwens
2004-Feb-13, 10:52 AM
Sounds good, but would someone mind tellling me what kind of show "West Wing" is? I've never heard of it.

Ah, Sweden, that would explain it. It's a show set in a fictional White House administration, the White House being where the President of the United States lives and works, and his administration works as well. So I doubt there'd be so much interest in it elsewhere.

AstroSmurf
2004-Feb-13, 11:24 AM
Jocke: Thanks!
JO: It's being shown here, just not a show I've taken an interest in.

M_Welander
2004-Feb-13, 01:55 PM
A very good episode, indeed.

Two minor things, though:

A) When Josh looked at Mars, the NASA girl told him that since Mars was closer to the earth than it had ever been in 60000 years, he had a better view of it than anyone before him in history... or something like that. So far, so good. The problem is, the Mars close approach was last summer, and this episode was set half a year after that, which means the planets have moved quite a bit since the closest approach. I admit I haven't calculated the numbers, but I'm fairly certain Mars would be closer to earth during any "regular" closest approach, than it would be a half year after a "historical" closest approach. Forgive me if I don't make any sense, as I'm from Sweden my English isn't quite up to the task.

B) I got the impression they mentioned the "International Star Registry" in a very good light. I really don't like that.


ADDITION: Oh, and was I the only one who expected the nuclear blast would turn out the be a small asteroid impact?

Darkwing
2004-Feb-13, 06:20 PM
B) I got the impression they mentioned the "International Star Registry" in a very good light. I really don't like that.

I got that impression too, and didn't like it either. And like you I really didn't like it. But I was too pleased with the things they got right that I forgot about it and didn't mention it above.

Perhaps the NASA woman didn't want to burst Josh's bubble by telling him the truth about the ISR.

The Supreme Canuck
2004-Feb-13, 09:11 PM
It's a show set in a fictional White House administration, the White House being where the President of the United States lives and works, and his administration works as well. So I doubt there'd be so much interest in it elsewhere.

Oh I don't know, I love it. I find it interesting to see how other governments work. (Sure, it's fiction, but some of the stuff's got to be pretty accurate)

milli360
2004-Feb-16, 11:22 AM
I could cavil at seeing Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and Mars within ten degrees of each other and with a single eyepiece,
I didn't see the show. What implied that they were within ten degrees?

Right now, in the early evening, all three are visible.

JohnOwens
2004-Feb-17, 12:16 AM
I could cavil at seeing Jupiter, the Orion Nebula and Mars within ten degrees of each other and with a single eyepiece,
I didn't see the show. What implied that they were within ten degrees?

Right now, in the early evening, all three are visible.

Just finally watched it over the weekend, so I'll take this one:
Basically, just the matter of how quickly the telescope slewed from one object to the next, and that it looked to be in nearly the same position. They didn't say anything you could directly quote as meaning they were that near to each other. At least, that's what I would think Mike meant.

mike alexander
2004-Feb-17, 08:04 PM
Yup, that's what I meant. Just dramatic time compression, which I had no problem with. Who wants to wait for a 60 degree slew?(Besides, on CSI they get a DNA match in an hour of so.)

And for what it's worth, I really think they got the "show, don't tell" idea right on the head. Recall that it starts with a morning meeting with people just talking to eash other (Actually, Josh Lyman just tells NASA to stop screwing up-pot calls kettle black). There is a rather subtle dramatic arc through the episode subplot where it starts out with all talk and name calling indoors, goes to the combined looking and explaining of his first exposure to the sky, and ends with Lyman standing alone looking through his new scope outdoors and no dialog at all.

Yes, there can be good dramatic writing on TV.

tracer
2004-Feb-18, 04:23 PM
(Besides, on CSI they get a DNA match in an hour of so.)
So ... anybody want to create www.badbiology.com ?

JohnOwens
2004-Feb-19, 12:31 AM
(Besides, on CSI they get a DNA match in an hour of so.)
So ... anybody want to create www.badbiology.com ?

Too late.


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Just because they aren't running a web site for it, doesn't mean it's not taken. Wait and see if they re-register it on May 13, though....

JohnOwens
2004-Feb-19, 09:38 AM
Followup thought: In this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=11323), I was ranting about the $12 million/$1.5 million/whatever "space pen" urban legend. At the bottom of the referenced page (http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp) from Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/), it mentions a sighting of this myth on The West Wing, from an episode called "We Killed Yamamoto" on May 15, 2002. I don't know the context, i.e. whether the writers were presenting it as an example of ridiculous government spending, or an example of a myth (I've only started watching it recently). If it was taken as gospel, anyone suppose (or know!) this recent episode might have been a way of making it up to those slighted by that slur?

JustAGuy
2004-Aug-25, 06:44 AM
There is a rather subtle dramatic arc through the episode subplot where it starts out with all talk and name calling indoors, goes to the combined looking and explaining of his first exposure to the sky, and ends with Lyman standing alone looking through his new scope outdoors and no dialog at all.
Sorry to ressurect a dead thread, but I saw this episode tonight, and I found this particular moment very powerful. Essentially, it points out the powerful use of advanced technology to explore the solar system while underlying the use of equally advanced tech to build nuclear weapons...

Also, Josh is using a Meade ETX 125. The same scope I unpackaged last week ;)

xgwpc
2004-Sep-19, 04:54 AM
this recent episode might have been a way of making it up to those slighted by that slur?

What slur?

ToSeek
2004-Sep-19, 02:21 PM
(Besides, on CSI they get a DNA match in an hour of so.)
So ... anybody want to create www.badbiology.com ?

It's now available, if you want to grab it.

2004-Sep-22, 12:49 AM
this recent episode might have been a way of making it up to those slighted by that slur?

What slur?

Kool sig

ArgoNavis
2006-Aug-02, 11:23 AM
This stargazing episode, which screened in 2004, has only now been shown in Australia. They are showing double episodes to catch up.

The Backroad Astronomer
2006-Aug-02, 09:01 PM
ok I did not see this episode but once i saw it and they giving directions from nova scotia to washington and the actually mentioned new brunswick which impressed me.

Dimarc67
2013-Feb-15, 07:10 PM
Ok, so I'm posting to this thread over 6 years later, but I just watched this episode (for the umpteenth time over several years) on Netflix, and noticed something fun. In the view of Mars through the telescope, take a look toward the top right corner of the telesope view. You'll see what I believe is supposed to be the Hubble telescope!

The telescope view of Mars is only shown for a few seconds, but in the top right there are three trapezoidal "stars" side by side horizontally, and they flicker in intensity for the few seconds the view is displayed. After noticing it in the view, I replayed it several times and decided it must be an attempt to put Hubble in the view.