Here is what I remember: an old black and white movie on TV Sunday afternoon, perhaps in the 1970's, a scientist holding a Crookes Radiometer at the eyepiece end of a large telescope pointed at the night sky.

As the radiometer began to turn (shown below in the GIF) the scientists were able to reach some conclusion about whether a comet (or asteroid, or alien spacecraft?) would or would not reach the Earth.

I'm sorry; I know it's thin, but it's all I've got.

below: Image (GIF) of a Crookes Radiometer, from here.

enter image description here


I believe you are remembering an episode of the TV series The Time Tunnel called "End of the World". From IMDB:

Doug and Tony escape the moon only to materialize in an old mine shaft in 1910, the year that Halley's Comet passed very close to earth. Many in town, including prominent scientist Professor Ainsley, believe the comet will smash into the Earth and end all life! Doug and Tony know this isn't true so their goal is to rescue miners trapped below the earth and all but abandoned in the town's panic.

Doug (Robert Colbert) uses a radiometer to convince Ainsley the Earth will survive. You can watch the episode on YouTube.here {The radiometer scene begins at 36:05) :

  • Can you include the time code for the scene with the radiometer? – uhoh May 7 '18 at 1:35
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    @uhoh I'm not sure that "allowing the possibility of other answers" makes sense for story-ID questions. If you're sure that your show has been identified correctly, what kind of additional answer would it even make sense to post? Wouldn't it be better to mark it answered, so nobody else will waste time with it? Of course if you're not sure yet, that's another story. – user14111 May 7 '18 at 9:02
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    @uhoh There are lots of questions, and personally I appreciate it when one has an accepted answer and I can scroll down to the next one, saving minutes of my lifetime not to mention wear and tear on my poor old eyes, instead of having to click into the question and read it, and the answers, and the comments, to find out that it's been solved. And I have doubts about your theory that accepting an answer bumps a question on the active page. But never mind me, just do what seems best to you. Over and out. – user14111 May 7 '18 at 9:35
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    @Uhoh: That's fair. I've always been of the philosophy that, for new querents, we need to remind them before they disappear forever (which is particularly common for story-id) and for people who've been here longer, they'll be back to change their answer if a better one comes in. – FuzzyBoots May 7 '18 at 11:37
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    @FuzzyBoots I've cleaned up some comments. The Earth has turned fully one revolution, I've accepted, yay! – uhoh May 8 '18 at 1:53

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