Fact over Fictionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/fact-over-fiction-2/

Fact over Fiction

Science-based programming is the new black.

On the morning of February 15 this year,a meteor weighing nearly 11 tons burst in the atmosphere over the Russian mountain city of Chelyabinsk,900 miles from the centre of Moscow,with the power equal to that of an atomic bomb,at a speed of almost 34,000 miles per hour. The intense flash of light and intensity was recorded by bystanders in nations hundreds of miles away,creating sonic blasts and tremendous shock waves and leaving smashed windows,collapsed roofs and injuring nearly 1,000 people in the aftermath. Today,Discovery Science is all set to present Fire in the Sky: A Daily Planet Special,with Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin.

“A meteor comes streaking through the sky and lands at a 20-degree angle right,sheering through,creating a series of sonic booms in Chelyabinsk,Russia,” says Tong,adding how in Russia a lot of people have dash cams,so they’re able to monitor what’s going on in the surroundings of their cars. Fire in the Sky focuses on a whole range of this phenomena — from the Tunguska events that took place in 1908,to this Russian meteor,shock waves,the damage they do and so on. Tong,who calls herself a science communicator and a science broadcaster,loves the jaw-dropping information. “I’m endlessly curious. Something like a meteor is a reminder that we are on this tiny little pebble that is flying through the void in space,and the grander scheme of human nature and how fragile we are,” she says. She believes science is the new black. “People are becoming more enamoured and awestruck by science. It can be more interesting than watching a soap opera or reality shows. You get to learn new things every single day. The appetite for science is growing and people are mesmerised by this type of content,” says Tong.

Meteors are a fact of life,shares Riskin. “They’re rare,but they do happen. Once a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs. That one was 10-20 km in diameter,” he says,agreeing with Tong that people are curious and want to know more. “They want to know who Justin Bieber kissed before bed,but they also want to know what shooting stars are made of. If the story is told well,people love learning science,” he says.