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.
Star GazersStar 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
11Is this docuseries out of this world?
- Actors: Jack Horkheimer
- Premiered: 1976
The Sky at NightThe 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... more on Wikipedia
20Is this docuseries out of this world?
- Actors: Patrick Moore
- Premiered: 1957
Into the Universe with Stephen HawkingInto 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
24Is this docuseries out of this world?
- Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Melissa Ricci, Christopher Goh
- Premiered: 2010
Wonders of the Solar SystemWonders of the Solar System is a 2010 television series co-produced by the BBC and Science Channel, and hosted by physicist Brian Cox. Wonders of the Solar System was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 7 March 2010. The series comprises five episodes, each of which focuses on an aspect of the Solar System and features a 'wonder' relevant to the theme. The series was described as one of the most successful to appear on BBC Two in recent years. On 31 March 2011, the series won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in documentary film-making.... more on Wikipedia
52Is this docuseries out of this world?
- Actors: Brian Cox
- Premiered: 2010