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The Sky at Night since Patrick's death



 
 
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  #11  
Old May 9th 13, 06:13 AM posted to uk.media.tv.misc,uk.sci.astronomy
Basil Jet
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Posts: 4
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On 2013\05\09 01:17, Dave Liquorice wrote:

The ones I've seen sinc Mr Moores death have been
reasonable and more in the "lets encourage people to look" line than a
monthly science magazine about the latest astronomy news.


They have realised that every edition is watched by a million men who
have seen every edition since 1955 and one woman who is tuning in for
the first and last time, and they have decided that the million men can
go hang themselves because from now on, every programme should serve the
needs of this month's one female viewer.
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  #12  
Old May 9th 13, 08:44 AM posted to uk.media.tv.misc,uk.sci.astronomy
Dave Liquorice[_2_]
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Posts: 29
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On Thu, 09 May 2013 06:13:45 +0100, Basil Jet wrote:

The ones I've seen sinc Mr Moores death have been
reasonable and more in the "lets encourage people to look" line than a
monthly science magazine about the latest astronomy news.


They have realised that every edition is watched by a million men who
have seen every edition since 1955 and one woman who is tuning in for
the first and last time, and they have decided that the million men can
go hang themselves because from now on, every programme should serve
the needs of this month's one female viewer.


Wasn't the orginal remit of the programme to encourage people to look?

Back in "1955" (*) the BBC stuck to the order of their mission statement
to "inform, educate and entertain" rather better than they do now. The
Sky at Night has not yet degenerated to the "entertainment" level. It's
still informative and shows "ordinary" people looking at and enjoying the
night sky without spending vast amounts of money.

I very much doubt The Sky at Night gets a million viewers in total and
those that have watched every edition since 1957 really will be in the
minority. If only because many will have died and those who started
watching at say 10 years old will be in their mid 60's now. Not to
mention that in 1957 having a TV was anything but the norm.

(*) Actually 24 April 1957.

--
Cheers
Dave.



  #13  
Old May 9th 13, 10:12 AM posted to uk.media.tv.misc,uk.sci.astronomy
CD
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Posts: 5
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On Thu, 09 May 2013 01:17:00 +0100 (BST), Dave Liquorice wrote:


I've already got the 20 min version as shown on BBC1 HD on Fri 6th 0006.
The BBC2 HD transmission Sat 11th 1110 is also 20 mins but all the BBC4
ones are listed as 30 mins. I've set one of those to record to see what
the differences are.


This has been going on for ages, the full science version usually has
extended versions of features & interviews. In the very last PM program
with the folks in his garden with their new telescopes[1], the differences
were very subtle. The bit with Pete, Paul & Chris was slightly longer
looking at more scopes. During the bit with the folks & the scopes the
local vicar turned up in the garden with his, but was absent in the short
one.

I don't see any reason to do this now in the digital age, I'll see if I can
contact the producer & ask about this. I read Chris Lintott's twitter &
someone asked about this but he didn't answer.

As for the post PM programs, I think they're pretty much the same, the only
thing missing is the location of PM's house, which I think we'd all got
used to.
Also we have Lucie Green as a regular now. I don't know what it is about
her, but she makes my equatorial goto mount point to Polaris every month.


[1] That program sold me, I bought one of these http://tinyurl.com/cl8bvcx
  #14  
Old May 9th 13, 08:38 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
James Harris[_2_]
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Posts: 13
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On May 6, 7:02*pm, James Harris wrote:
With the demise of Patrick Moore it seems to me that the soul has gone
out of The Sky at Night. I've given it a few months to try to adjust
to the new presentation but the programme seems much blander. Anyone
else feel the same way?

In his later appearances Patrick had little part to play but it's not
the same without him. Any idea why the programme is so different? I've
been trying to work it out but haven't come up with a clear answer.


OK I've just watched a 1/2 hour version of the programme and tried to
work out what's wrong with it. Here's a summary of what happened. You
may want to skip past the summary. Frankly, like the show the summary
is not very interesting.

Possibly the best available picture of Saturn shown at start
Intro - what will be in the show
Cassini spacecraft
Composition of Saturn - types of gasses
Comments that it looks bland, featureless
A storm on Saturn
Ammonia ice and water ice brought up to surface
'Fascinating but let's see what's happening at the poles'
Movie of polar weather system
Great images - thanks but now time to look at the rings
Ring composition, tiny moons
Shepherd moons leave structures
Earth seen through Saturn's rings!
Alternate views of how old the rings are
Only one viewpoint (briefly) justified, not the other
Quick mention of the moons - a sentence or two about a number of moons
Fountains of Enceladus much better in detail - but short
Now talking about Titan
Atmosphere of Titan - Cassini and Huygens lander
Quick views of many pictures
Radar of surface - methane lakes
Infrared view of clouds
Terrain of Titan, riverbed, seasonal changes
Source of methane - possibly Titan to run out of methane
Done with Titan - now we're back to Earth
Report on Earthcast camera to go on space station
Finished with the camera - now back to Saturn
Specific old refractor telescope mentioned
Now an astronomy club looking at the night sky
Quick talk about looking at Jupiter
Now talking about looking at Saturn again
Outer A ring, Cassini Division, inner B ring mentioned
Rapid swapping between people looking at night sky
Told to look at web site for star charts
A star chart put up but taken away without being explained and not
enough time to read it
Back to the old telescope ... great views - now back to studio
Now we're on Space Surgery
- Question from a 5-year old about Saturn's rings
- Another graphic with no time to read it
- Question about rocks from Mars
- Question about gas giants
Keep your questions coming in
Next month - lives of the stars to tune in then

Whew! Anyone see anything wrong with that?

I can offer a very clear take on what I think they are doing. Alright,
I was taking notes as it went along but look how much they covered in
thirty minutes; that made it tiring to watch and the topics were so
shallow I learned almost nothing.

There was far too much rushing to skim over topics. Talk about dumbing
down. From the topics mentioned it was as if they were talking to
primary school children. I know they are directed in what to say but
Lucie Green in particular seemed scared to spend more than a moment on
any topic. It was more like a survey of topics rather than taking the
viewer into anything interesting. The programme was boring.

By contrast Patrick Moore would sometimes take the viewer on a journey
of discovery. That allowed the viewer to enter into the wonder of what
was being seen and understood. That seems to have gone.

Someone commented on this thread about the target audience being those
who have no interest in astronomy and that seems remarkably apt. At
the moment I feel they are trying too hard to make The Sky at Night
interesting to the masses and ending up making it boring to everyone.

James
  #15  
Old May 10th 13, 01:23 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
oriel36[_2_]
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Posts: 8,478
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On May 9, 8:38*pm, James Harris wrote:

Someone commented on this thread about the target audience being those
who have no interest in astronomy and that seems remarkably apt. At
the moment I feel they are trying too hard to make The Sky at Night
interesting to the masses and ending up making it boring to everyone.

James


What makes it boring for everyone is that the vital interpretative
element of astronomy was squeezed out centuries ago leaving what is
essentially a magnification exercise on one side and a speculative
modeling mess on the other.Kepler had identified 3 areas of astronomy
even before telescopes emerged as a new tool -

"To set down in books the apparent paths of the planets and the record
of their motions is especially the task of the practical and
mechanical part of astronomy; to discover their true and genuine path
is . . .the task of interpretative astronomy; while to say by what
circle and lines correct images of those true motions may be depicted
on paper is the concern of the inferior tribunal of geometers" Kepler

The reason astronomy is now boring for everyone would be best
presented as a documentary outlining what exactly went wrong and for
what reasons ,of course people do not like to hear ugly words like
scam and fraud but unfortunately that constitutes the bulk of what
passes itself off as astronomy today where the celestial arena has
turned into a dumping ground for mathematicians and their speculative
nonsense.I firmly believe that once responsible people start to see a
picture emerge that they will want to know more and particularly why
Isaac Newton's clockwork solar system established a section of the
mathematical community to chant voodoo at the celestial arena and pass
it off as explanations.

Sometimes the wider community does catch glimpses of the voodoo and
the pretense from which it springs -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nptDP35Tb0

A documentary full of technical and historical details understandable
to the wider public is feasible and will they get a shock as to what
is driving these scientific modeling disasters which began in
astronomy and has now spread to everything else.






  #16  
Old May 10th 13, 06:12 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
James Harris[_2_]
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Posts: 13
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On May 10, 1:23*pm, oriel36 wrote:

....

What makes it boring for everyone is that the vital interpretative
element of astronomy was squeezed out centuries ago leaving what is
essentially a magnification exercise on one side and a speculative
modeling mess on the other.


I don't think astronomy is boring! Far from it. I was saying that
since Patrick Moore's demise The Sky at Night has become boring for
the reasons stated.

Of course, it's easy to see faults. What could they do to fix the
programme? Here are some thoughts:

1. Editorially: Go back to having a mixture of:

* stories of discovery (how science gradually progressed its
understanding of a certain astronomy-related topic),

* in-depth investigations into specific astronomical wonders (e.g. a
particular moon and what we know about it and how science missions
have learned more over time),

* a specific astronomy-related issue (e.g. light and how we can lean
from analysing it)

* cosmology issues such as the lives of certain types of stars, dark
matter and energy, specific galactic clusters and superclusters etc.

2. Keep the monthly newsnotes - i.e. things to look out for before the
next programme. Possibly keep the answering of viewers' questions but
answer them in more depth.

3. Go back to a single presenter who should be an enthusiast in the
topic. Note that "enthusiast" does *not* mean he or she needs to talk
quickly! (Most of the current presenters talk too quickly possibly
because they are in pairs and are trying to keep up with the other
person.)

The presenter needs to be someone with a genuine love of the topic who
will put it across in a way that helps the viewer to share that
feeling. Patrick Moore could talk quickly when he wanted but he could
slow down very deliberately when talking of important points and he
wasn't afraid of the dramatic pause.

As for who should present now that Patrick has gone why not, for a
while, have a different main presenter each month or have a presenter
cover it for two months at a time? They could use each of the current
crop of presenters but also have guest presenters from time to time.
If this seems like a job interview process then why not! Once they see
who make good anchors they can pick one of them. Frankly, going back
to one presenter - even if that presenter is not ideal - would improve
on the frenetic and somewhat competitive style they have now.

If they didn't want to go through that period of transition then of
the current personnel I think Pete Lawrence would be *by far* the most
appropriate as anchor. He has a genuine love of the topic and does a
lot of work behind the scenes. He is also good at explaining topics to
viewers. He is not so good as roving reporter. For that, Chris Lintott
and Chris North would be good choices.

I would drop Paul Abel and (with regret!) Lucie Green entirely from
regular presence though they could be occasional contributors.

Other potentially good anchors could be Michele Dougherty or Brian May
but I would like to see them present a show before deciding.

In short, astronomy is far from boring. Of all the sciences it is one
which is disproportionately full of wonders and there are plenty of
topics within astronomy to bring to the public a sense of awe for many
years to come - as long as it is presented properly.

James
  #17  
Old May 10th 13, 09:17 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
Basil Jet
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Posts: 4
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On 2013\05\09 20:38, James Harris wrote:

Earth seen through Saturn's rings!


The image behind them seems to be displayed on a 5*4 grid of 50 inch
TVs. Wouldn't it look better if they stood in front of a green wall and
used chroma keying?

--
Ukip - Breaking the fungus of British politics
  #18  
Old May 10th 13, 11:11 PM posted to uk.media.tv.misc,uk.sci.astronomy
Dave Liquorice[_2_]
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Posts: 29
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On Fri, 10 May 2013 21:17:57 +0100, Basil Jet wrote:

The image behind them seems to be displayed on a 5*4 grid of 50 inch
TVs. Wouldn't it look better if they stood in front of a green wall and
used chroma keying?


I should imagine that was part of the location they used the Satellite
Applications Catapult(*). Green screen would have required studio space,
that costs money...

(*) Sounds very interesting but we didn't get to see/hear anything about
it.

--
Cheers
Dave.



  #19  
Old May 10th 13, 11:28 PM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
oriel36[_2_]
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Posts: 8,478
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

On May 10, 6:12*pm, James Harris wrote:

In short, astronomy is far from boring. Of all the sciences it is one
which is disproportionately full of wonders and there are plenty of
topics within astronomy to bring to the public a sense of awe for many
years to come - as long as it is presented properly.

James


There is a sense of awe alright ! - how the greatest and must
destructive scam in human history is played out through the education
system,through the patronage of the peer review system which serves
the reputations and salaries of the reviewers, by the replacement of
explanations with speculative modeling by exploiting the calendar
based Ra/Dec system,the foisting of mathematicians over astronomers by
projecting a non geometric language to explain the celestial arena and
the voodoo language that accompanies it.The wider community sees these
guys stand behind a blackboard full of equations and imagine the
mathematicians have some insight into astronomy denied those who
cannot read what the symbols represent yet when basic interpretative
insights are brought before these mathematicians they are lost up to
and including the main insight for the Earth's orbital motion -

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap011220.html
  #20  
Old May 11th 13, 08:06 AM posted to uk.sci.astronomy,uk.media.tv.misc
N_Cook
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Posts: 86
Default The Sky at Night since Patrick's death

James Harris wrote in message
...
On May 6, 7:02 pm, James Harris wrote:
With the demise of Patrick Moore it seems to me that the soul has gone
out of The Sky at Night. I've given it a few months to try to adjust
to the new presentation but the programme seems much blander. Anyone
else feel the same way?

In his later appearances Patrick had little part to play but it's not
the same without him. Any idea why the programme is so different? I've
been trying to work it out but haven't come up with a clear answer.


OK I've just watched a 1/2 hour version of the programme and tried to
work out what's wrong with it. Here's a summary of what happened. You
may want to skip past the summary. Frankly, like the show the summary
is not very interesting.

Possibly the best available picture of Saturn shown at start
Intro - what will be in the show
Cassini spacecraft
Composition of Saturn - types of gasses
Comments that it looks bland, featureless
A storm on Saturn
Ammonia ice and water ice brought up to surface
'Fascinating but let's see what's happening at the poles'
Movie of polar weather system
Great images - thanks but now time to look at the rings
Ring composition, tiny moons
Shepherd moons leave structures
Earth seen through Saturn's rings!
Alternate views of how old the rings are
Only one viewpoint (briefly) justified, not the other
Quick mention of the moons - a sentence or two about a number of moons
Fountains of Enceladus much better in detail - but short
Now talking about Titan
Atmosphere of Titan - Cassini and Huygens lander
Quick views of many pictures
Radar of surface - methane lakes
Infrared view of clouds
Terrain of Titan, riverbed, seasonal changes
Source of methane - possibly Titan to run out of methane
Done with Titan - now we're back to Earth
Report on Earthcast camera to go on space station
Finished with the camera - now back to Saturn
Specific old refractor telescope mentioned
Now an astronomy club looking at the night sky
Quick talk about looking at Jupiter
Now talking about looking at Saturn again
Outer A ring, Cassini Division, inner B ring mentioned
Rapid swapping between people looking at night sky
Told to look at web site for star charts
A star chart put up but taken away without being explained and not
enough time to read it
Back to the old telescope ... great views - now back to studio
Now we're on Space Surgery
- Question from a 5-year old about Saturn's rings
- Another graphic with no time to read it
- Question about rocks from Mars
- Question about gas giants
Keep your questions coming in
Next month - lives of the stars to tune in then

Whew! Anyone see anything wrong with that?

I can offer a very clear take on what I think they are doing. Alright,
I was taking notes as it went along but look how much they covered in
thirty minutes; that made it tiring to watch and the topics were so
shallow I learned almost nothing.

There was far too much rushing to skim over topics. Talk about dumbing
down. From the topics mentioned it was as if they were talking to
primary school children. I know they are directed in what to say but
Lucie Green in particular seemed scared to spend more than a moment on
any topic. It was more like a survey of topics rather than taking the
viewer into anything interesting. The programme was boring.

By contrast Patrick Moore would sometimes take the viewer on a journey
of discovery. That allowed the viewer to enter into the wonder of what
was being seen and understood. That seems to have gone.

Someone commented on this thread about the target audience being those
who have no interest in astronomy and that seems remarkably apt. At
the moment I feel they are trying too hard to make The Sky at Night
interesting to the masses and ending up making it boring to everyone.

James

++++

The extended version had some pretty and technical stuff on Eceladus with
another UCL? expert .
Also a piece on ISS mounted Earth-view camera systems which should have been
on BBC Click rather than [email protected] , fair enough editing out.
I record the first BBC1 witching-hour transmission and time shift to view
next day. Then record a BBC4 version and fast forward through most of it.


 




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