When Knowledge Conquered Fear is the third episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
Neil deGrasse Tyson guides the viewer for a journey alongside Halley comet on its 76-year trip around the Sun. The episode will feature a biography of one of history's most famous scientists, Isaac Newton. Edmond Halley, best-known for the comet named after him, is the other story told in this upcoming episode.
At the center of the upcoming episode is mankind's drive to understand the Universe. The show states the greatest reach of this quest is our quest to understand the Cosmos. At one time, every natural occurrence was attributed to the actions of Gods and mystic spirits. When Knowledge Conquered Fear tells the story of how the human race first reached beyond those simple explanations, to find a deeper answer, based on the scientific method.
Cary Elwes, famous for his role as Westley in the Princess Bride, will make a guest appearance on the third episode of Cosmos.
The host tells how Newton's laws of gravity, developed centuries ago, are able to make remarkable predictions today. These laws are used to predict our Milky Way colliding with the giant galaxy in Andromeda in four billion years. Tyson tells his viewers what we expect will happen when the giant clusters of stars collide, in the last peaceful age of our dying Sun.
Isaac Newton was one of history's strangest characters. He developed two of the greatest ideas in science, and launched another branch of astronomy that has dominated research since his time. He also invented a telescope design that is in use today both in space-based observatories, and to bring low-cost telescopes to the masses.
However, Newton spent much of his time on religious puzzles, trying to add dates together to find a chronology for events in the Bible. He was also prone to bouts of extreme anger and depression.
Edmond Halley was 13 years younger than Newton, and was the first to calculate the orbit for the comet that now bears his name. The two met in 1684, and began a friendly rivalry, that also included inventor Robert Hooke, to describe the motions of planets.
At the edge of the solar system, Tyson brings viewers to the Oort Cloud, where a trillion or more comets slowly orbit the Sun. This swarm of rocks and ice glide gently around the outer edges of the Solar System, until they are nudged in toward the Sun. This can happen either during a collision or by the passage of a large body from outside our home family of planets.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will broadcast its latest episode on Sunday 23 March at 9 p.m. on Fox.