Neil deGrasse Tyson will explore the subjects of infrared astronomy and the scientific method in the episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.
Hiding in the Light will discuss the history of the scientific method, and how the practice has helped direct the course of progress for centuries. The astronomer will guide us through how the application of the scientific process was essential in understanding the nature of light.
The astronomer guides the viewers through one of the most basic questions in the Universe. He explores the nature of light, and what it means when we say a plant is green, or the eyes of our beloved are blue. The nature between starlight, created in fiery furnaces of distant stars, and our everyday world are revealed.
Astronomers need to examine astronomical objects in many wavelengths of light, in order to obtain data on different natural processes. Our familiar visible spectrum contains the colors of the rainbow, from red and orange to blue and violet. There are many other "colors" beyond the ones seen by the human eye.
Infrared lies just beyond red, and is given off by every object in the form of thermal radiation. This energy is recorded by many infrared cameras, and is used to warm food in restaurants.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003, is the latest in the quest to explore the Universe in these invisible wavelengths. Coolant aboard the observatory became exhausted in 2009. Since that time, two sensors that detect the longest wavelengths of light continue to be used as part of the Spitzer Warm Mission.
Stoney Emshwiller (Jackie Brown) will play the voice of a guard during an animated sequence. Bethany Levy (Star Trek Into Darkness) will play the part of a businesswoman, and Mehdi Merali (Ray Donovan) will portray a cab driver in the new episode, according to the Internet Movie Database. The New York Times reports the episode will also guest star Alfred Molina, best known for his role as Comte de Reynaud in Chocolat. However, the addition of Molina was not confirmed on the official Web site for the series.
During the title sequence of the series, the letters "C" and "S" briefly appear alone, before being joined by the rest of the letters in the word "Cosmos." This is a tribute to Carl Sagan, the creator of the original Cosmos series.
Hiding in the Light will air on Sunday 6 April at 9 p.m. on Fox.