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
The Universe is an American documentary television series that features computer-generated imagery and computer graphics of astronomical objects in the universe plus interviews with experts who study in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, and astrophysics. The program is produced by Flight 33 Productions and Workaholic Productions. The series premiered on May 29, 2007, on The History Channel and four subsequent seasons were aired until 2010. Starting from October 25, 2011, new episodes began airing exclusively on H2. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Erik Thompson, Clifford V. Johnson, Alex Filippenko
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking is a 2010 science documentary television mini-series written by British physicist Stephen Hawking. The series was created for Discovery Channel by Darlow Smithson Productions and features computer generated imagery of the universe created by Red Vision. The series premiered on 9 April 2010 in the United States and started on 9 May 2010 in the United Kingdom with a modified title, Stephen Hawking's Universe. An original soundtrack was composed for the series by television and film composer Sheridan Tongue, combining symphonic orchestral recordings with electronic and sampled elements. The score was recorded and mixed in 5.1 surround sound for HD ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Melissa Ricci, Christopher Goh