Life in the universe • 2015 The Economist

Category: Astronomy

Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? And how did it get started? Scientists are seeking the answers in the cosmos, our solar system and right here on planet Earth.

The Economist • 0 • 6 episodes •

What caused the Cambrian explosion?

For most of the Earth's history, life consisted of the simplest organisms; but then something happened that would give rise to staggering diversity, and, ultimately, life as complex as that which we see today. Scientists are still struggling to figure out just what that was.

2015 • Nature

Do we live in a multiverse?

It has long been thought that our universe is all there is, but it is possible we may live in just one of many.

2015 • Astronomy

What is consciousness?

Understanding what consciousness is, and why and how it evolved, is perhaps the greatest mystery known to science.

2015 • Brain

Why does time pass?

The equations of physics suggest time should be able to go backwards as well as forwards. Experience suggests, though, that it cannot. Why? And is time travel really possible?

2015 • Physics

Life in the universe

Does life exist anywhere else in the universe? And how did it get started? Scientists are seeking the answers in the cosmos, our solar system and right here on planet Earth.

2015 • Astronomy

What is the universe made of?

The Earth, the sun, the stars, and everything we can see, only comprise five percent of the universe. But what about the other 95 percent? Scientists are puzzling over dark matter and dark energy, the mysterious components that make up the rest.

2015 • Astronomy

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Introduction to Astronomy

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Mars: A Travellers Guide

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Astronomers study a lot of gorgeous things, but nebulae might be the most breathtakingly beautiful of them all. Nebulae are clouds of gas and dust in space. They can glow on their own or reflect light from nearby stars. When they glow it’s usually predominantly red from hydrogen and green from oxygen, and when they reflect and scatter light it’s from massive hot stars, so they look blue. Stars are born in some nebulae, and create new ones as they die. Some nebulae are small and dense, others can be dozens or hundreds of light years across.

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The Search for a Second Earth

Is there another Earth out there with liquid oceans, rocky continents and life like us? Astronomers seek the answer with spectroscopy, direct imaging and telescopes. They hope to find evidence of atmospheres, magnetospheres and signs of life.

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Mission to Mars

Horizon goes behind the scenes at NASA as they countdown to the landing of a 2.5 billion-dollar rover on the surface of Mars. In six days time, the nuclear-powered vehicle - the size of a car - will be winched down onto the surface of the Red Planet from a rocket-powered crane. That's if things go according to plan: Mars has become known as the Bermuda Triangle of space because so many missions there have ended in failure. The Curiosity mission is the most audacious - and expensive - attempt to answer the question: is there life on Mars?