Mike would have learned that solar system formation from a proto-planetary disk is not just the favorite model, but finding strong fresh support from study of the Orion nebula. Nobody who matters believes in the solar fission model he prefers.
Hoagland would have been interested in some very fine artwork showing that the asteroid 25143 Itokawa is a loose accretion of material that's as much as 40% void. He might recall saying emphatically, when discussing Phobos, that "you can't have a natural object that's 30% hollow."
They both would have learned that, although a Van Flandern-style massive impact on Mars is indeed possible, even likely, such events were not at all uncommon in the early solar system, and that all four of the rocky planets almost certainly experienced the same catastrophic fender-benders.
Hoagland would have been disappointed that nobody credited him with being the first to publish the possibility of life under the surface of Europa, one of his oft-repeated claims. That's because the claim is a lie. Maybe he'd also have been chastened to discover that the volcanoes of Io are not in any way grouped at 19.5° latitude, as he has falsely claimed.
I guess they'd both have been disappointed that nobody mentioned cities in the rings of Saturn, monument-building civilizations on Mars, or robot heads on the Moon. My God, these people didn't even mention 19.5 once. Clearly a cover-up by TPTB.
A side issue: I was very puzzled by the documentary's treatment of the arsenic-tolerant bacterium GFAJ-1. Right around the time the script was discussing the discovery of microbial life in very adverse conditions on Earth, there were shots of Mono Lake, and I'm almost sure we caught a glimpse of Felisa Wolfe-Simon walking by the shore. Yet nothing AT ALL was actually said about GFAJ-1. It looks as though this sequence was shot but never used. Wonder if somebody lost faith, in view of recent scientific attacks on Felisa?
As it happens, I watched this show last night with my 10 year old grandson. He was spell bound by the whole thing, and kept asking questions about what he seeing. It was a great show that was highly educational and very entertaining.
My grandson though, got more out of it than Bara and Hoagland would ever have. He is actually interested in learning things, while they just want to sell books and DVD's promoting pseudo-science. It's a shame too, because at least one of them (Hoagland)was once very good at communicating real science to people.
Yes, I too was surprised at the exclusion of Dr. Wolfe-Simon's work. I thought for sure they were about to discuss it when they showed the lake. Perhaps they thought they'd included enough material on extremophiles, though it seemed like an interesting oversight.
Glad you were with it, Chris. Wasn't Steven Squyres good? Funny thing, though -- the interview wasn't lit properly and appeared to have been shot with a hand-held camera (this is the former tv documentary producer in me, noticing that). Almost as if Squyres said "I can only give you 15 minutes."
I noticed that they used a lot of extreme close ups for the scientist interviews, unless there was some nice scenery around. That's why we got great desert vistas with Chris McKay and just a peek at Squyres' office. And yes, Squyres was good.
I also thought the effects were very done. They were part of what caught my grandson's (he's a huge Star Wars fan) attention. That they were used to illustrate real places and real science seemed to really fascinate him.
You failed to mention Plasma and Electricity.
I don't know whether you noticed, but FSW was included briefly in the promo between the hours. Then there was an abrupt cut after the mention of arsenic in the lake. Obviously NOVA wisely recognized recently that they would discredit themselves by including the arsenic bacteria nonsense that has been universally rejected by the scientific community.
Thanks for the comment, anon. Yes, I thought that was FWS during the between-hours promo. I agree it looks very much as though Nova didn't want to take that story on....
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