Explores the violent cosmic phenomenon of supernovas, which on average occur once per galaxy per century or one billion times per year in the observable universe.

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(inspired by "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" written by), (inspired by "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage" written by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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Himself - Host
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Cecilia Payne (voice)
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Margaret Harwood
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Annie Jump Cannon (voice)
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Explores the violent cosmic phenomenon of supernovas, which on average occur once per galaxy per century or one billion times per year in the observable universe.

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Documentary

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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27 April 2014 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Neil deGrasse Tyson - Host: Nothing lasts forever, even the stars die.
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How the Stars Were Labeled
20 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As was usually the case, women who made major discoveries went unnoticed and under-appreciated. This begins with "Pickering's Harem" a name given in jest to a group of women who catalogued over a million stars. It also looks at Cecilia Payne, one of the greatest of all astronomers. It took great courage to challenge the idea that the stars contained the same metals that we find on earth when in reality, they are made up almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. It then goes into a discussion of the collapse of stars, where core becomes mostly helium as the hydrogen burns off. After the collapse, the planets closest to the sun will be incinerated, leading to the production of other elements and will lead to great density and the sun will become a white dwarf. This shrinkage leads to a nova and finally a supernova and eventually a pulsar. Of course, the intense gravity will force the outer part to collapse inward, forming a black hole. Great stuff wonderfully presented. The scene from the Australian outback is breathtaking. What I had never heard of was the hypernova and the huge star Eta Carinae, whose explosion would wreak havoc on nearby star systems. It's all about transformations of energy which is part of everything in the universe.


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