There's something captivating about non-fiction TV that allows even seemingly boring subjects to pull you in and hold your attention episode after episode. While most of us would've tuned out any teacher who tried to get us to learn astronomy, whenever an astronomy documentary series comes on TV there's few of us who can resist the temptation to tune in. The best astronomy shows are a mix of breathtaking visuals, awe-inspiring narration, and interviews with some of the smartest people on the planet. Simply put, astronomy documentary shows make us feel smart and the best ones are just plain old entertaining TV.
Whether you're flipping through the channels on a day off, burning hours at a time on Netflix, or actively seeking out and sharing clips of your favorite astronomy documentaries online, there's no denying that the top astronomy shows can pull us into their orbit and keep us there. So let's break out the telescope, venture into a black hole that sucks up all of our time, and rank the best astronomy documentary series.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a 2014 American science documentary television series. The show is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan on the Public Broadcasting Service and is considered a milestone for scientific documentaries. This series was developed to bring back the foundation of science to network television at the height of other scientific-based television series and films. The show is presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who, as a young college student, was inspired by Sagan. Among the executive producers are Seth MacFarlane, whose financial investment was instrumental in bringing the show to broadcast ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Stoney Emshwiller
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as presenter. It was executive-produced by Adrian Malone, produced by David Kennard, Geoffrey Haines-Stiles, and Gregory Andorfer, and directed by the producers, David Oyster, Richard Wells, Tom Weidlinger, and others. It covers a wide range of scientific subjects, including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe. The series was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980, and was the most widely watched series in the history of American public television until The Civil War. As of 2009, it was still the most widely watched ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Carl Sagan
Star Gazers (formerly known as Jack Horkheimer: Star Hustler and later Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer) is a five-minute astronomy show on American public television previously hosted by Jack Foley Horkheimer, executive director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium. After his death in 2010 from a respiratory illness from which he had suffered since childhood, a series of guest astronomers hosted until 2011, when Dean Regas, James Albury, and Marlene Hidalgo became permanent co-hosts. On the weekly program, the host informs the viewer of significant astronomical events for the upcoming week, including key constellations, stars and planets, lunar eclipses and conjunctions, as well as historical ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Jack Horkheimer
The Sky at Night is a monthly documentary television programme on astronomy produced by the BBC. The show had the same permanent presenter, Patrick Moore, from its first airing on 24 April 1957 until 7 January 2013, Moore having died on 9 December 2012. This made it the longest-running programme with the same presenter in television history. Many early episodes are missing, either because the tapes were wiped or thrown out, or because the episode was broadcast live. Beginning with the 3 February 2013 edition, the show has been co-presented by Lucie Green and Chris Lintott, with Maggie Aderin-Pocock announced in December 2013 as a new presenter. The programme's opening and closing theme music ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Patrick Moore