Saturday 14 February 2015

Things can only get rounder

Commercial broadcasters have nothing on the BBC when it comes to seeking to boost ratings by using star names. 

The wonderful news that the BBC is planning a landmark series on BBC One answering big, simple-sounding-yet-complex scientific questions, such as 'Why is the sky blue?' and 'Why is the earth round?', might well be tempered (for some people) by a slight sinking feeling.

If you're familiar with the BBC's recent science coverage, I bet you  can guess who (out of the many thousands of UK scientists) the BBC has chosen to present this new, high-profile series.

Go on, have a guess!

In the meantime and just in case your were wondering...

The sky is blue because sunlight is comprised of all the colours of the rainbow. These colours come in waves of different lengths, and red light has a longer wavelength than blue light. When sunlight hits Earth's atmosphere, that atmosphere (comprised of gas and particles) scatters it in all directions. Because blue travels in shorter, smaller waves, it is scattered more than any other colour - which is why we see blue skies.

And ss for why the earth is (more-or-less) round, well, that's all because of gravity - the attraction of masses.  Massive masses, like the combined mass of this planet, exert a huge gravitational pull. The most efficient shape to reflect that is a sphere. And above a certain size, the force of gravity's desire to shape things into a sphere - to reach hydrostatic equilibrium - proves irresistible.

No need to watch this new BBC series now, eh?


  1. What capital fun; very many thanks for posting it.

    Just when I thought we'd run out of brilliant spoofs a la Hitler in Downfall, along comes this one. Let's hope it's merely the first of many!

    Hector Plasm

  2. Happy to oblige! (See the post above this).

  3. Can we expect a series on " Why is Brian Cox a prick ? "


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