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Willem Wever Woos Westerbork

Submitter: Joeri van Leeuwen
Description: Willem Wever is a weekly family television programme that aims to answer, in a playful and visually attractive manner, everyday questions about a diversity of subjects that interest both children and adults. Think: why is the sea blue? Every episode the host and three children that have pressing questions embark on an adventurous quest visiting the experts who have all the answers. "Willem Wever makes sure that no secrets remain hidden!". It is basically in the same category as Klokhuis. The show has been around a long time now -- 25 years this year -- and was based on the '70s radio show "Wie Weet Waar Willem Wever Woont?" (itself named after an old alliterative children's song).

Last summer, the show got a question by Bregje (10, pictured above): "What does the inside of a black hole look like?" and called around the various astronomers in The Netherlands. Where better to explain that than at Westerbork, I suggested, where astronomers such as Raffaella Morganti study black holes, and scientists like Gemma Janssen, Jason Hessels and myself work on gravity and General Relativity. So the producers and I worked out a script where we explain gravity, play around with space-time curvature, play-act radio emission from accretions disks, and finally: look at radio pictures of black holes and think about their horizon. The image above is a still from the scene where we explain how a radio telescope is like a giant eye for "very very red" light. Bregje, presenter Jesse, and a large crew came to Westerbork to film it and the resulting episode was watched by over 50,000 people.
Copyright: KRO-NCRV
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