An Introduction to the Universe: The Big Ideas of Astronomy

Image credit: Space Engine / Bob Trembley

Now You Know Media presents a new lecture series with Br. Guy

An Introduction to the Universe: The Big Ideas of Astronomy

In these 12 lectures, Br. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., Ph.D. leads you on a journey through the Cosmos; you’ll learn how the stars and planets reveal the beauty of Creation, and explore Scripture, the great astronomers, and the most profound questions about the universe.

Topics include:

  1. Naked Astronomy: How can we to learn the sky, to recognize its regularities and its changes, and find God in the rhythm of the stars?
  2. Dark skies: For most of human history, nightfall meant the absence of light, a daily shift of what we could and could not do. How has the ubiquitous presence of artificial light changed the way we the spirituality of preserving our view of the heavens
  3. Astronomy in the Bible: How does scripture talk about the stars? What can we learn today about the best way to appreciate the stars?
  4. Astronomy and Astrology: Why was astrology forbidden in the Old Testament? Why is it scorned by astronomers today? What are the temptations of “gnosticism” — a belief in “hidden knowledge”? And how do the Magi fit into all this?
  5. A Bestiary of Professional Telescopes: What’s out there, why they are designed the way they are, and what they’re looking for? Is it fair to compare modern observatories to medieval cathedrals?
  6. A Night at the Telescope: What do professional astronomers actually do when they observe? What is the experience like, staying up on a mountaintop studying the sky? What do we learn, both about our science and about ourselves?
  7. My Favorite Planets (and not-planets): Pluto is not a planet — it’s something better. I will describe my own personal adventures with three relatively obscure but, to me, fascinating worlds: the dwarf planet Pluto, the active moon of Jupiter, Io, and everyone’s favorite, Mars.
  8. Exploring Other Solar Systems: In the last twenty years we’ve discovered not only that other stars have planets, but in fact such planets are quite common in the universe. What do we know, how do we know it, and what does it mean about our own planet Earth and our place in the universe?
  9. Walking on Other Words: Planets are places where people can have adventures. The day is not too far off when people will be able to visit the sights on Mars with the same ease that they visit the Grand Canyon. What are some of the great things to be seen some day in our solar system?
  10. The Known Unknown – Dark Energy and Dark Matter: We’ll look into the the reasons why we think there is matter in the universe that we cannot directly detect, what current ideas exist about what might explain this, and what all of this means to the question of how well we can trust science.
  11. The Big Bang: We’ll look into the history of the people who first speculated about how the universe might have started, and then look deeper into the evidence that both convinces us we’re on the right track, and challenges us to find more detail about how it actually might have happened… including speculation about what it does, and does not, say about God’s action in Creation.
  12. The Big Questions: What are we hoping to learn in our study of astronomy? This final lesson will provide just a sampling of the fascinating things that astronomers hope to discover over the next hundred years. They are age-old questions including, how did the planets form? What is life, where do we look for it, how do we look for it, how do we know it when we see it, and what do we do then? Are there new laws of physics to be found in the extreme environments of astrophysics?

When ordering use coupon code: Guy2017 for a special VOF 10% discount - valid until the end of September!
To order from the NowYouKnow Media website, click HERE.
Available in: CD/MP3/DVD

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