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What Makes a Planet a Planet? The Story of Pluto

What makes a planet a planet? In 2006, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of its planet status. Phillip Metzger, a planetary scientist at the University of Central Florida joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss to the reasoning behind the reclassification of planets. Watch this clip from "SciTech Now."

Upcoming Airdates

Blue Sky Metropolis

Wings: Aviation Takes Flight in Early Los Angeles

In this episode, the documentary establishes Southern California as the undisputed aviation capital of the world and introduce the industry founders — Jack Northrop, Glenn Martin and Donald Douglas.  Nice weather attracted them but so did a climate friendly to dreamers, risk takers and entrepreneurs.  Amelia Earhart learned to fly here, becoming only the 16th woman in the world to earn a pilot’s license, succeeding in an industry dominated by men.

  • 2019-07-19T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-19T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-21T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-11T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-11T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-12T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-16T07:00:00-07:00
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Space Chase USA

Space Chase USA

"Space Chase USA" explores the extraordinary events that transformed the small beach town of Cocoa Beach, Florida into a bustling center for the American space program. Featuring a trove of archival material and interviews with long-time residents, former Apollo astronauts, and Cape Canaveral-based engineers and employees, the program charts the history of the space program in Florida during the 1950s and 1960s.

  • 2019-07-19T11:00:00-07:00
    KCETLINK

Chasing The Moon: American Experience

A Place Beyond the Sky

“A Place Beyond the Sky” begins in 1957 and tracks the early years of the space race as the United States struggled to catch up with the Soviet Union. The episode explores both the successes and failures of America’s  early space program, and the enormous stakes involved in the quest to reach the moon.  

  • 2019-07-20T11:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-27T11:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-03T11:00:00-07:00
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Year In Space

Year In Space

Follow astronaut Scott Kelly's record-breaking 12-month mission on the International Space Station, from launch to landing, as NASA charts the effects of long-duration spaceflight by comparing him to his identical twin on Earth, astronaut Mark Kelly.

  • 2019-07-21T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Blue Sky Metropolis

The Big Chill: The Cold War Fuels Business and Anxiety

This episode traces how The Cold War and Pentagon dollars fund the explosive growth of modern Los Angeles.  The end of World War II meant massive unemployment for the millions of workers in Southern California who built the aircraft that helped win the war, but a series of world events changed all that, creating a permanent wartime economy.  First, the Soviets successfully tested an atomic bomb.  Next, Mao Tse-Tung created a second Communist empire with his People’s Republic of China.  Finally, the Korean War marked the first communism/capitalism military showdown

  • 2019-07-21T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-21T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-22T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-26T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-26T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-28T10:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-18T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-18T16:00:00-07:00
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8 Days: to the Moon and Back

8 Days: to the Moon and Back

Join Apollo 11 on its historic journey. The film seamlessly blends mission audio featuring conversations among Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins with new footage, NASA archive and stunning CGI to recreate the first moon landing.

  • 2019-07-21T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-21T17:00:00-07:00
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Ancient Skies

Gods and Monsters

Explore the origins of our relationship with the skies. Our ancestors use the sky to navigate and tell time, and give religious significance to what they see in it. Then, a revolution gives birth to modern science.

  • 2019-07-28T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Blue Sky Metropolis

A Space Odyssey: Southern California Spearheads Mankind’s Greatest Achievement

The triumphant and tragic Space Race unfolds in the first-hand accounts of those who pioneered the technology and built the hardware that made possible mankind’s greatest achievement. Meantime, the military-industrial-complex expands unchecked.

  • 2019-07-28T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-28T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-29T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-02T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-02T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-04T10:00:00-07:00
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Nova

The Planets: Inner Worlds

The rocky planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars - were born of similar material around the same time, yet only one supports life. Were Earth's neighbors always so extreme? Is there somewhere else in the solar system where life might flourish?

  • 2019-07-28T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-28T17:00:00-07:00
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Nova

The Planets: Mars

Mars was once a blue water world studded with active volcanoes. But when its magnetic field and protective atmosphere faded, it became the frozen desert planet we know today. With so many necessary elements in place, did life ever form on Mars?

  • 2019-07-28T15:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-07-28T18:00:00-07:00
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Ancient Skies

Finding The Center

Follow the efforts to give the Earth a shape and a place. From flat Earth legends to Galileo's telescope, track major changes in scientific understanding. Ideas rise and fall as we continue to explore our ancient skies.

  • 2019-08-04T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Blue Sky Metropolis

Back to the Future: A New Space Age Dawns in Southern California

“Back to the Future” explores the decline of the industry in Southern California and its resurgence in recent years.  We hear first-person testimony from Southern California residents who came of age during the Cold War and Space Race.

  • 2019-08-04T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-04T16:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-05T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-09T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-09T12:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-11T10:00:00-07:00
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Nova

The Planets: Jupiter

Jupiter's massive gravitational force made it a wrecking ball when it barreled through the early solar system. But it also shaped life on Earth, delivering comets laden with water - and perhaps even the fateful asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

  • 2019-08-04T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-04T17:00:00-07:00
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Ancient Skies

Our Place in the Universe

Complete the puzzle of our ancient skies. A cast of scientific pioneers reshapes the solar system and better understands a growing universe. But there is still much more space to explore.

  • 2019-08-11T12:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Nova

The Planets: Saturn

NASA's Cassini explores Saturn for 13 years, looping through its icy rings and flying by its moons. The probe captures stunning ring-moon interactions, but when it finds the ingredients for life on the moon Enceladus, a bittersweet decision is made.

  • 2019-08-11T14:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-08-11T17:00:00-07:00
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Nova

Pluto and Beyond

Join the mission as the New Horizons spacecraft attempts to fly by NASA's most distant target yet. Since it explored Pluto in 2015, New Horizons is zooming toward Ultima Thule, an object four billion miles from Earth.

  • 2019-08-18T12:00:00-07:00
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Nova

The Planets: Ice Worlds

In the far reaches of the solar system, Uranus and Neptune dazzle with unexpected rings, supersonic winds and dozens of moons. And NASA's New Horizons gets a stunning up-close view of Pluto before venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt.

  • 2019-08-18T14:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD