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New Horizons: The Kuiper Belt Target • 2019 Breakthrough

Category: Astronomy

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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Jupiter Revealed

'To send a spacecraft there is a little bit insane,' says Scott Bolton when talking about Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. But that is exactly what he has done, because Scott is head of Juno, the Nasa mission designed to peer through Jupiter's swirling clouds and reveal the wonders within. But this is no ordinary world. This documentary, narrated by Toby Jones, journeys with the scientists into the heart of a giant. Professor Kaitlin Kratter shows us how extreme Jupiter is. She has come to a quarry to measure out each planet's mass with rocks, starting with the smallest. Mercury is a single kilogram, and the Earth is 17. But Jupiter is on another scale entirely. It is seven tonnes - that is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined. On Kaitlin's scale it is not a pile of rocks, it is the truck delivering them. With extreme size comes extreme radiation. Juno is in the most extreme environment Nasa has visited. By projecting a 70-foot-wide, life-size Juno on a Houston rooftop, Scott shows us how its fragile electronics are encased in 200kg of titanium. As Scott puts it, 'we had to build an armoured tank to go there.' The team's efforts have been worthwhile. Professor Andrew Ingersoll, Juno's space weatherman, reveals they have seen lightning inside Jupiter, perhaps a thousand times more powerful than Earth's lightning. This might be evidence for huge quantities of water inside Jupiter. Prof Ingersoll also tells us that the Great Red Spot, a vast hurricane-like storm that could swallow the Earth whole, goes down as far as they can see - 'it could go down 1,000s of kilometres'. Deeper into the planet and things get stranger still. At the National Ignition facility in northern California, Dr Marius Millot is using powerful lasers normally used for nuclear fusion for an astonishing experiment. He uses '500 times the power that is used for the entire United States at a given moment' to crush hydrogen to the pressures inside Jupiter. Under these extreme conditions, hydrogen becomes a liquid metal. Juno is finding out how much liquid metallic hydrogen is inside Jupiter, and scientists hope to better understand how this flowing metal produces the most powerful aurora in the Solar System. But what is at Jupiter's heart? In Nice, Prof Tristan Guillot explains how Juno uses gravity to map the planet's centre. This can take scientists back to the earliest days of the solar system, because Jupiter is the oldest planet and it should contain clues to its own creation. By chalking out an outline of the Jupiter, Tristan reveals there is a huge rocky core - perhaps ten times the mass of Earth. It is now thought Jupiter started as a small rocky world. But there is a surprise, because Juno's findings suggest this core might be 'fuzzy'. Tristan thinks the planet was bombarded with something akin to shooting stars. As he puts it, 'Jupiter is quite unlike we thought'.

Horizon • 2018 • Astronomy

The Moon: Earth's Guardian Angel

Astronaut Mike Massimino reveals the mysterious secrets of the moon, a world permanently tied to Earth; using new research, he uncovers the mysterious origin of the moon and how it kick-started life on Earth.

S1E8The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

How Far Can We Go? Limits of Humanity.

Is there a border we will never cross? Are there places we will never be able to reach, no matter what? It turns out there are. Far, far more than you might have thought…

In a Nutshell • 2016 • Astronomy

Beyond a Year in Space

Beyond A Year in Space picks up where A Year in Space left off: Scott Kelly’s last day in space and return to Earth. The special also introduces viewers to the next generation of astronauts training to leave Earth’s orbit and travel into deep space.

2017 • Astronomy

The Sun

Phil takes us for a closer (eye safe!) look at the two-octillion ton star that rules our solar system. We look at the sun's core, plasma, magnetic fields, sunspots, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and what all of that means for our planet.

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The Interstellar Mysteries

Discoveries about interstellar space, the space between the universe's stars, reveal that it's not empty and unremarkable as previously thought, but filled with weird objects and strange phenomena that might hold the darkest secrets of the cosmos.

S7E3How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy