Ultra-sensitive telescopes have transformed alien planet-hunting from science fiction into enthralling hard fact. Join NOVA on a visit to exotic worlds orbiting distant suns to answer an age-old question with thrilling new science: are we alone?
Astronomers are laying the groundwork to locate a new planet for the human race to inhabit, and the more alien worlds they discover and encounter, the more they unmask the mysterious and truly destructive nature of the cosmos.
New discoveries have revealed thousands of exoplanets beyond the solar system. Some resemble earth enough that one could be a new home for humanity. Even with cutting-edge technology, finding the perfect one is the scientific challenge of the age.
In 2017, two solar eclipses crossed the planet. Millions were awestruck as the earth, moon, and sun aligned, casting watchers into total darkness. America experienced the most extensive total eclipse, lasting ninety straight minutes, visible along a path pinpointed by NASA scientists.
2018 • Astronomy
In summer 2013, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way was getting ready to feast. A gas cloud three times the size of our planet strayed within the gravitational reach of our nearest supermassive black hole. Across the globe, telescopes were being trained on the heart of our galaxy, some 27,000 light years from Earth, in the expectation of observing this unique cosmic spectacle. For cosmic detectives across the Earth, it was a unique opportunity. For the first time in the history of science, they hoped to observe in action the awesome spectacle of a feeding supermassive black hole.