Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are homes to the deadliest storms in our solar system, and new discoveries reveal the secrets of this hellish alien weather, helping experts understand these alien worlds better than ever.
Voyager has had a profound effect on our knowledge of the cosmos. Its mission was supposed to last five years but remains ongoing, fundamentally changing our understanding of the solar system. Featuring contributions from key scientists, we’ll explore what’s been achieved and what happens next.
2016 • Astronomy
The new discovery of seven alien Earth-like planets in a faraway solar system is a major milestone in our hunt for extraterrestrial life, and experts investigate the secrets of TRAPPIST-1's mysterious worlds to reveal if we're truly alone in the universe.
2018 • Astronomy
Shocking new evidence has convinced some of the world's greatest physicists that the universe is a hologram. Using cutting-edge technology, they investigate the secrets of black holes and space-time to build the case for this game-changing discovery.
2019 • Astronomy
A spacecraft captures the first close-up images of the dwarf planet Pluto. Space's Deepest Secrets shares stories of the men and women who pushed their ingenuity and curiosity to uncover some of the most groundbreaking findings in the history of space exploration.
2020 • Astronomy
Astronauts have detected a mysterious region of space that's dangerous for reasons they have yet to understand, and scientists believe the long-term effects of this danger zone may have implications for the future of humanity both in space and on Earth.
2021 • Astronomy
Gamma-ray bursts are not only incredible to study, but their discovery has an epic story all its own. Today Phil takes you through some Cold War history and then dives into what we know. Bursts come in two rough varieties: Long and short. Long ones are from hypernovae, massive stars exploding, sending out twin beams of matter and energy. Short ones are from merging neutron stars. Both kinds are so energetic they are visible for billions of light years, and both are also the birth announcements of black holes.
Now that we’re done with the planets, asteroid belt, and comets, we’re heading to the outskirts of the solar system. Out past Neptune are vast reservoirs of icy bodies that can become comets if they get poked into the inner solar system. The Kuiper Belt is a donut shape aligned with the plane of the solar system; the scattered disk is more eccentric and is the source of short period comets; and the Oort Cloud which surrounds the solar system out to great distances is the source of long-period comets. These bodies all probably formed closer into the Sun, and got flung out to the solar system’s suburbs by gravitational interactions with the outer planets.
In the fall of 2020, a NASA spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx attempts to reach out and grab a piece of an asteroid named Bennu and bring it back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx team has just three chances to extend its spacecraft's specialized arm, touch down for five seconds, and collect material from the surface of Bennu. Can they pull it off? NOVA takes you inside the mission as the team plans its approach: They must map the asteroid's surface, choose possible collection sites, and rehearse the risky maneuver. If the collection is successful, scientists could gain great insight into Earth's own origins—and even learn to defend against rogue asteroids that may one day threaten our planet.
Commander Stephen Hawking and his space ship the SS Hawking encounter an alien A.I., then race to the edge of the universe, and plunge into an alternate Earth. It's an epic quest to discover the secret of the universe: The Theory of Everything.
2018 • Astronomy
In July 1969, history was made as 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong's giant leap for mankind on the surface of the moon. But behind these iconic images is an untold story. Now, 50 years later, Discovery and Science Channel celebrate the Apollo 11 moon landing with a two-hour television event, APOLLO: THE FORGOTTEN FILMS, that tells the complete story of this most audacious of missions. Featuring forgotten and never-before-seen footage from events surrounding the landmark mission, the documentary by Duncan Copp traces the decade's worth of effort involving half a million scientists that was required to enable that "one giant leap for mankind". The archives reveal the incredible lengths an army of engineers, scientists and astronauts went to, to achieve America's greatest technological feat.
2019 • Astronomy