Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing

Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing


Full Film: 


Duration: 34 min. Language: English (UK & US), Spanish, Catalan, French, Thai, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese Technical data: resolution up to 3.2K, audio 5.1 available Audience: General audience

Award winner at the 2010 International Planetarium Movie Festival at GwaCheon National Science Museum in South Korea


The sky, and everything that happens in it, has always piqued our curiosity. Eclipses, the regular cycle of the seasons, and the motion of the stars have fascinated us since our earliest ancestors looked up to the sky.

In the learned company of a cartoon Einstein, this show takes audiences on a tour of the major astronomical milestones of the last 3,000 years -- from the cosmological models of antiquity, through the Ptolemaic system of epicycles, to the contributions of Copernicus, Newton, Hubble and many others. We explore the discoveries made possible by the use of technology -- from the first telescope used by Galileo -- to modern ones in use on Earth and in space. All have revealed the beauty of the cosmos.

Come along for an exploration of nebulae, pulsars, and black holes and 3,000 years of astronomy exploration!

Preview the full show Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing in current language versions:

Science Education Content

Astronomy: 3000 Years of Stargazing focuses on the history of astronomy with emphasis on how people have used the sky throughout history. First we used it to help understand and predict the seasonal cycles of weather. Then, with the invention of instruments to observe objects in the sky, the science of astronomy developed into a system of understanding the intrinsic nature of those objects. These concepts are woven together along with historical and cultural perceptions of the sky and help relate the information presented in the show to the lives of students, families, and the general public.

Show content is relevant in the following subject areas:

Physical Science, Life Science, and Earth and Space Science Standards

  • objects in the sky: Sun, Moon, stars, planets, galaxies, quasars
  • properties of stars
  • creation of the universe (the Big Bang)
  • position and motion of objects in space

History and Nature of Science

  • astronomy as a human endeavor
  • history of astronomy and historical perspectives
  • the nature of astronomy

Science and Technology

  • Understanding of how astronomy technology has been developed and how it works

Science as Inquiry

  • Understanding the concepts behind the motions of sky objects
  • Realizing how we know what we know about astronomy
  • What one needs in order to understand the cosmos

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

  • change in the sky
  • early maps of the sky
  • rise of scientific exploration of the universe
  • development of the modern science of astronomy
  • early human history, cultures, and perceptions of the sky

This show adheres to principles put forth in the National Academy of Sciences' Education Standards (USA) published in 1996. For more details, visit the NAS Standards Web site.

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