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New Horizons: The Kuiper Belt Target • 2019 Breakthrough

Category: Astronomy
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The New Horizons spacecraft revolutionized our understanding of the solar system as it rocketed past Pluto. Now, four billion miles since its launch, the craft approaches its next target: Ultima Thule.

Breakthrough • 2018 - 2020 • 22 episodes •

Drilling for Marsquakes? The InSight Lander

The Mars InSight lander is on a 6-month journey to the Red Planet, with hopes of uncovering some of our planetary neighbor's secrets. Digging deep into Martian soil, the lander will measure marsquakes and also study the deep interior of Mars - perhaps revealing the origins of the planet.

2018 • Astronomy

Floodgates of Venice

MOSE is one of the world?s largest and highest-profile civil-engineering works. But will it be able to save Venice? Venice has grappled with inundation for centuries. But due to natural subsidence and higher tides caused by global warming, the city is more vulnerable to flooding than ever before.

2019 • Technology

New Horizons: The Kuiper Belt Target

The New Horizons spacecraft revolutionized our understanding of the solar system as it rocketed past Pluto. Now, four billion miles since its launch, the craft approaches its next target: Ultima Thule.

2019 • Astronomy

Direct from an Asteroid

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has just completed one of the most intricate procedures in space exploration. The first mission to deliver rovers onto an asteroid has now descended to its surface for a sample, before returning back to Earth in 2020.

2019 • Astronomy

Recovering from Extinction

How long does it take for life to rebound after a major mass extinction? Scientists in Svalbard dig through fossil clues for surprising revelations about our Earth's history.

2019 • Environment

The First Picture of a Black Hole

For the first time, scientists have captured a photograph of a black hole. The image verifies one of the most important theories in physics and will help unlock the greatest mysteries of the cosmos.

2019 • Astronomy

Shark Family Tree

Great white sharks are one of the most feared predators on Earth, and yet we know very little about them. Science is now revealing the mysteries of this perfect predator through evolutionary biology.

2019 • Nature

Private Moonshot

A non-profit organization established in 2011 is aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. This is the story of their attempt and the excitement of being the first private company to have a spacecraft launched with the intention of going to and landing on the moon.

2019 • Astronomy

T-Rex Timeline

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is known as the king of the dinosaurs, but how did its reign begin? Meet Moros Intrepidus, a 180 lb., deer-sized ancestor to the T-Rex. Learn how the latest in paleontology can now link this small dinosaur to the 19,000-pound Scotty, the largest T-Rex ever discovered.

2019 • Nature

Fixing a Broken Heart

Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths worldwide, but there are researchers frantically working to change that. Meet the people inventing the future of cardiac health, from new ways of imaging the body, to the possibility of 3D printing a functioning heart.

2019 • Health

Modern Day Killer Asteroid

66 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into Mexico’s Yucata´n Peninsula, causing a dinosaur mass extinction. With over 700,000 asteroids in space, what's in store for humanity and our planet if it happens again?

2019 • Astronomy

Climate Crisis

The real impact of global warming is now being felt in communities around the world. Climate scientists explain what to expect where you live, and what steps might still be taken to reverse the climate crisis.

2019 • Environment

Escaping Rip Currents

Rip currents can appear without warning, turning an ideal beach outing into a horrific scene of chaos and panic. But groundbreaking new research could teach thousands of potential victims how to spot and escape these silent killers before it's too late.

2019 • Environment

Herculaneum Scrolls Unraveling History

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius is renowned for its decimation of Pompeii, but nearby, an equally impressive Roman settlement known as Herculaneum was lost to history. Today, the latest in technology is opening a wind to the past, as scientists digitally "unravel" the Herculaneum Scrolls.

2019 • History

Saber-Tooth Brawl

Lions may be known as the kings of the jungle, but it was saber-tooth cats that ruled over the Americas. New fossil evidence is shinning a light on the violent lives of these mysterious species.

2019 • Nature

Touching the Sun

For all of human history, the Sun, our home star, has measured our days and our seasons while fueling all life on Earth. Yet it remains an enigma. NASA's Parker Probe Plus is on a mission to change that -- flying through dangerous radiation to become the closest spaceship to orbit our Sun.

2019 • Astronomy

Greenland is Melting

The Greenland ice sheet, the last remnant of the Ice Age, is melting at an unprecedented rate. Today, scientists and researchers from all over the world are paying close attention to what could become a global catastrophe.

2019 • Environment

Breakthrough: Opportunity a Life on Mars

This year we said goodbye to one of our most intrepid planetary explorers, the Opportunity rover. Take a look back at its storied 15-year mission on Mars, and how it revolutionized our understanding of not just the red planet, but our solar system at large.

2019 • Astronomy

The Coronavirus Epidemic

The coronavirus disease is spreading at frightening speeds from Wuhan, China, to the rest of the world. How did this virus develop, and how close are we to finding an effective vaccine?

2020 • Health

Search for Our Suns Lost Planet

Is it possible that there is a hidden planet within our own solar system? New evidence suggests that the fabled Planet X, or Planet 9, may indeed exist… but where? Meet the teams racing to discover and redefine our planetary neighborhood.

2020 • Astronomy

Coronavirus: Combating the Outbreak

Officially designated as a pandemic, it seems as if COVID-19 has taken over the world. Lucky for us, this isn’t the first time we’ve had to deal with a serious virus outbreak. Experts share the methods currently in place to slow down this infectious disease.

2020 • Health

Coronavirus Race for a Vaccine

According to current estimates, a widely available COVID-19 vaccine will likely be available within the next 12 months. Why so long? Learn how vaccines are developed and explore the current state of the coronavirus landscape, guided by the scientists on the ground trying to find a solution.

2020 • Health

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Pluto's Heart

A voyage a decade in the making, the New Horizons probe has travelled to the end of our Solar System to reveal a world unlike any other, Pluto. Now, as it heads deep into the Kuiper Belt, those responsible for its magnificent journey share their fears, joy and hope for this piano-sized explorer.

5/6Space Probes • 2016 • Astronomy

Secret World of Nebulas

Nebulas are the strange structures of cosmic gas and dust where stars are born and die, and new discoveries reveal the secrets of these mysterious places.

S7E5How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Star Men

Four astronomers celebrate 50 years of work and friendship by going on a road trip to revisit some of the world's greatest observatories. In California, a world leader in observational astronomy at a time when America's space programme was at its height, the astronomers spent their formative years developing friendships that would last a lifetime, and making scientific discoveries that would change the course of history. Together they represent the most productive period astronomy has ever had. Their journey through the southwestern United States allows them to see once again the places and landscape they explored as young men. Now in their 70s, they share their reflections on a life spent looking at the universe. Star Men celebrates the history of stargazing: the inventions and discoveries that have enabled us to learn so much about the universe, but more importantly to understand how much more we have yet to discover.

2016 • Astronomy

The Trouble with Space Junk

In 2014, the International Space Station had to move three times to avoid lethal chunks of space debris and there is an increasing problem of satellites mysteriously breaking down. With first-hand accounts from astronauts and experts, Horizon reveals the scale of the problem of space junk. Our planet is surrounded by hundreds of millions of pieces of junk moving at 17,000 miles per hour. Now the US government is investing a billion dollars to track them, and companies around the world are developing ways to clear up their mess - from robot arms to nets and harpoons. Horizon investigates the science behind the hit film Gravity and discovers the reality is far more worrying than the Hollywood fiction.

Horizon • 2015 • Astronomy

The Backbone of Night

Carl Sagan teaches students in a classroom in his childhood home in Brooklyn, New York, which leads into a history of the different mythologies about stars and the gradual revelation of their true nature. In ancient Greece, some philosophers (Aristarchus of Samos, Thales of Miletus, Anaximander, Theodorus of Samos, Empedocles, Democritus) freely pursue scientific knowledge, while others (Plato, Aristotle, and the Pythagoreans) advocate slavery and epistemic secrecy.

7/13Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Brown Dwarfs

While Jupiter is nowhere near massive enough to initiate fusion in its core, there are even more massive objects out there that fall just short of that achievement as well called brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs, have a mass that places them between giant planets and small stars. They were only recently discovered in the 1990’s, but thousands are now known. More massive ones can fuse deuterium, and even lithium, but not hydrogen, distinguishing them from “normal” stars. Sort of.

28Crash Course Astronomy • 2015 • Astronomy