Bill Nye: The Science Guy

Season 1 Episode 19

Outer Space

Aired Unknown Feb 04, 1994 on Disney Channel
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Episode Summary

Outer Space

The show is way out there, way far away. After all, it's in Outer Space.
When you look at the night sky on a clear dark night, you can see thousands of stars. There are far more
than you could count. And, they are way out there. They are very, very far away. It's about the hardest
thing to imagine about space. Let's talk about the nearest star to us, the Sun. If somehow outer space
were not an icy cold vacuum with nothing to eat, drink, or breathe, and we could drive there in a car, to
get to the Sun at freeway speed of 100 kilometers/hour (61 miles/hour), it would take171 years of driving
without stopping to sleep or get gas out in the near nothingness of space. That's just to the Sun. To get
to even the closest star, Proxima Centauri, would take 40,000 years. On top of that, most things, billions
and billions of stars, are much, much farther away than that! It is just astonishing.
How do we know that everything is so far away? We have watched the sky for centuries. By watching
carefully the motions of the points of light across the sky, humans have been able to estimate how far
away objects are. It took us years, and years, but you can watch this episode in less than 29 minutes.
Bill might seem a little far out in this episode. Maybe he's getting spacey.


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