Today we’re rounding out our planetary tour with ice giants Uranus and Neptune. Both have small rocky cores, thick mantles of ammonia, water, and methane, and atmospheres that make them look greenish and blue. Uranus has a truly weird rotation and relatively dull weather, while Neptune has clouds and storms whipped by tremendous winds. Both have rings and moons, with Neptune’s Triton probably being a captured iceball that has active geology.
How and when will the Universe end? Gravity and dark matter are poised to annihilate the Universe in a big crunch. Expansion and dark energy may tear it apart. Or, a phase transition could kill us tomorrow in a cosmic death bubble.
The Ship of the Imagination embarks on a journey through space and time to grasp how the autobiography of the Earth is written in its atoms, its oceans, its continents and all living things. Later, American geologist Marie Tharp creates the first true map of Earth's ocean floor, and discovers microscopic life that exists deep beneath the ocean.
The Sun created our Solar System and in a fit of cosmic cannibalism will engulf and destroy it. However, our Solar System will see many changes before the light of our star goes out. So, what will be happening with the planets over the next four billion years, before the Sun swallows us and them?
To celebrate the Apollo moon landing's 50th anniversary, Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain travel to where the historic Apollo 11 mission began – Cape Canaveral in Florida. They hear first hand from astronaut general Charlie Duke what it was like to guide Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon in the Lunar Lander and how he followed in their footsteps three years later. They also look at the most exciting new developments and, with privileged access, they broadcast from the top of launch tower that is being prepared for crewed missions and from the assembly line of a spacecraft factory. They are joined by astrophysicist and medic Dr Kevin Fong and mathematician Dr Hannah Fry, who explore the latest developments in human space flight - from cutting-edge spacewalk technology to a future Mars buggy.
2019 • Astronomy