the planets (79 videos) • 79 videos

Sun & Mercury

Join a team of scientists as they launch a probe to actually touch the Sun. Then they make a surprise discovery on the tiny planet Mercury. An exhilarating real-life space adventure, revealing that our nearest star could pose a serious threat to our modern way of life.

Secrets of the Solar System • 2020 • Astronomy

Hunt for Alien Evidence

The discovery of extraterrestrial life might face an impossible challenge: the physics of the universe itself; but using cutting-edge tech, experts might be on the verge of a groundbreaking find -- and the evidence could already be in hand

How the Universe Works • 2020 • Astronomy

Cassini's Final Secrets

For twenty years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed the strange secrets of Saturn until it vaporized in its atmosphere in a blaze of glory. But today its legacy lives on, as fresh data from the probe helps scientists make brand-new discoveries.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Finding the New Earth

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.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Hunt for Alien Life

The latest discoveries suggest that we might be on the verge of discovering life beyond our planet, and scientists are investigating if earth's life began elsewhere in the universe, and whether we need to evolve to know for sure.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Battle of the Dark Universe

Dark matter and dark energy are locked in an epic battle for control of the cosmos, and the winner will determine the fate of the universe. New discoveries might reveal which force will emerge victorious.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Did the Big Bang Really Happen?

New discoveries are causing astronomers to question if the Big Bang really happened, and using the latest science, they investigate if it wasn't just the start of our universe but many mysterious multiverses.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • 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.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

How the Black Holes Made Us

Black holes are not the violent monsters people think they are, and new discoveries reveal that they might have been essential to creating stars, giving light, and building the universe itself.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

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.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

When Supernovas Strike

Supernovas are the violent death of giant stars, and new discoveries reveal that these cataclysmic events create the elements that are essential to all life in the universe.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Nightmares of Neutron Stars

Neutron stars are strange and violent phenomena that defy the laws of physics, and new discoveries reveal that these bizarre nightmares are far more deadly than previously believed, with the power to destroy planets and even other stars.

How the Universe Works • 2019 • Astronomy

Beyond Beauty the Predictive Power of Symmetry

From a bee’s hexagonal honeycomb to the elliptical paths of planets, symmetry has long been recognized as a vital quality of nature. Einstein saw symmetry hidden in the fabric of space and time. The brilliant Emmy Noether proved that symmetry is the mathematical flower of deeply rooted physical law. And today’s theorists are pursuing an even more exotic symmetry that, mathematically speaking, could be nature’s final fundamental symmetry: supersymmetry.

World Science Festival • 2016 • Math

Into the Darkness: Ice Worlds

In the final episode, Professor Brian Cox journeys to the remotest part of the solar system, a place that the most mysterious planets call home.

The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy

Life Beyond the Sun: Saturn

Professor Brian Cox reveals the history of Saturn. Saturn began life as a strange planet of rock and ice and in time transformed into a gas giant, ring-less and similar looking to its rival, Jupiter.

The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy

The Godfather: Jupiter

Brian Cox continues his exploration of the solar system with a visit to a planet that dwarfs all the others: Jupiter. Its size gives it a great power that it has used to manipulate the other planets.

The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy

The Two Sisters - Earth & Mars

Professor Brian Cox continues his tour of the solar system revealing that it was once home to not one, but two blue planets.

The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy

A Moment in the Sun - The Terrestrial Planets

The rocky planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars were born at the same time from the same material - yet have lived radically different lives. What immense forces are at play?

The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy

Holst: The Planets with Brian Cox

A chance to see the BBC Symphony Orchestra perform British composer Gustav Holst's The Planets at the London Barbican, in a concert from last September timed to celebrate the centenary of the premiere. But there's a special scientific twist to this concert, as before each movement, Professor Brian Cox discusses what modern science reveals about each of the planets.

2019 • Music

Secrets of the Seven Earths

The new discovery of seven alien Earth-like planets in a faraway solar system is a major milestone in our hunt for extraterrestrial life, and experts investigate the secrets of TRAPPIST-1's mysterious worlds to reveal if we're truly alone in the universe.

Space's Deepest Secrets • 2018 • Astronomy

Alien Oceans: Search for Life

Astronaut Mike Massimino explores the mysterious oceans of the solar system, where the latest discoveries provide new clues in the search for alien life.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • 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.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Alien Worlds: Stranger Than Fiction

Astronaut Mike Massimino explores the incredible new alien planets being found daily by astronomers; using the latest science, he investigates everything from worlds that appear to eat light to planets that resemble Earth in shocking ways.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Pluto: The Secret Science

Astronaut Mike Massimino explores the dwarf planet Pluto, a tiny frozen world surrounded in secrets; using the latest science, he investigates the possibility of life in its mysterious ocean.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Planet 9: The Lost World

Astronaut Mike Massimino investigates the possibility of a giant ninth planet at the edge of the solar system; using the latest technology, he reveals the incredible secrets of this mysterious world.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Saturn: Mysteries Among the Rings

Astronaut Mike Massimino reveals the mysterious secrets of Saturn and its rings; using the latest science from the Cassini mission, he explores the planet's giant icy geysers, powerful hurricanes, and moon that may be hiding extraterrestrial life.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Venus: The Hell Planet

Astronaut Mike Massimino explores Venus, a hellish planet covered in active volcanoes and dense clouds. Using cutting edge technology, he decodes the secrets beneath this volatile planet and investigates if Earth could be heading towards the same fate.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Mars: The Definitive Guide

Astronaut Mike Massimino reveals the answers to some of the greatest mysteries on the Red Planet. Using the most detailed survey of Mars ever created, he discovers the dark history of our closest neighbor.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Jupiter: King of the Planets

Astronaut Mike Massimino leads a journey to Jupiter where he investigates the planet's deepest mysteries and tries to discover if its origins make it the sun's secret twin.

The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy

Building: The Ultimate Telescope - ALMA

On a high plateau in a remote desert in northern Chile lies the largest observatory on Earth, ALMA, or Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. The name refers to a network of 66 massive radio telescopes, working in unison to observe the birth and death of stars and planets, and answer centuries-old questions about the origins of our universe. Witness the history of ALMA, the remarkable product of a 20-year global effort, and see how it is already changing our basic understanding of the cosmos, and astronomy itself.

2013 • Astronomy

Planet Hunters

Planet Hunters follows the astrophysicists – many of them Canadian – at the forefront of the search for Earth's twin, and tells the little-known story of the two Canadians who invented the technique that made modern planet-hunting possible. Gordon Walker and Bruce Campbell also detected the first exoplanet ever discovered. But that's not what the history books say.

The Nature of Things • 2012 • Astronomy

The Explorers

A look at the continuing evolution of the cosmos. What our existence tells us about the universe and how complicated it is. Why are things the way that they are? The spacecraft Artemis initiates launch sequence and begins its 4.7 light year journey to Minerva B - an Earth-like exoplanet.

Living Universe • 2018 • Astronomy

The Planet Hunters

For as long as we’ve had eyes to see and minds to wonder we’ve marveled at the stars. Since the discovery of the first so-called exoplanet in 1994, the Planet Hunters have transformed the way we see the universe. It is the year 2157, and spacecraft Artemis enters the final phase of construction.

Living Universe • 2018 • Astronomy

Home of the Future

This episode will show how innovations in construction are burgeoning: 3D printing, material salvaging... In cities, homes will be modular and “intelligent” and the growing population will lead us to explore new spaces on Earth and even other planets...

Dream the Future • 2017 • Technology

Space: Unraveling the Cosmos

From the origins of the universe, to the present time in mankind's exploration of the unknown, and forward into the future of what lies beyond the outer reaches, Space Unraveling the Cosmos brings audiences closer than ever before to the far off planets, galaxies, and terrestrial phenomenon that make up the limitless expanse all around us. Groundbreaking 4K/Ultra High Definition and 3D computer graphics immerse filmgoers within the mysteries of the cosmos in a way never before seen.

2013 • Astronomy

The Final Frontier: A Horizon Guide to the Universe

Dallas Campbell looks back through almost 50 years of the Horizon archives to chart the scientific breakthroughs that have transformed our understanding of the universe. From Einstein's concept of spacetime to alien planets and extra dimensions, science has revealed a cosmos that is more bizarre and more spectacular than could have ever been imagined. But with every breakthrough, even more intriguing mysteries that lie beyond are found. This great journey of discovery is only just beginning.

Horizon • 2012 • Astronomy

The Persistence of Memory

The idea of intelligence is explored in the concepts of computers (using bits as their basic units of information), whales (in their songs and their disruptions by human activities), DNA, the human brain (the evolution of the brain stem, frontal lobes, neurons, cerebral hemispheres, and corpus callosum under the Triune Brain Model), and man-made structures for collective intelligence (cities, libraries, books, computers, and satellites). The episode ends with speculation on alien intelligence and the information conveyed on the Voyager Golden Record.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

The Edge of Forever

Beginning with the origins of the universe in the Big Bang, Sagan describes the formation of different types of galaxies and anomalies such as galactic collisions and quasars. The episodes moves further into ideas about the structure of the Universe, such as different dimensions (in the imaginary Flatland and four-dimensional hypercubes), an infinite vs. a finite universe, and the idea of an oscillating Universe (similar to that in Hindu cosmology). The search into other ideas such as dark matter and the multiverse is shown, using tools such as the Very Large Array in New Mexico. Cosmos Update shows new information about the odd, irregular surfaces of galaxies and the Milky Way perhaps being a barred spiral galaxy.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

The Lives of the Stars

The simple act of making an apple pie is extrapolated into the atoms and subatomic particles (electrons, protons, and neutrons) necessary. Many of the ingredients necessary are formed of chemical elements formed in the life and deaths of stars (such as our own Sun), resulting in massive red giants and supernovae or collapsing into white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and even black holes. These produce all sorts of phenomena, such as radioactivity, cosmic rays, and even the curving of spacetime by gravity. Cosmos Update mentions the supernova SN 1987A and neutrino astronomy.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Journeys in Space and Time

Ideas about time and space are explored in the changes that constellations undergo over time, the redshift and blue shift measured in interstellar objects, time dilation in Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, the designs of both Leonardo da Vinci and spacecraft that could travel near light speed, time travel and its hypothetical effects on human history, the origins of the Solar System, the history of life, and the immensity of space. In Cosmos Update, the idea of faster-than-light travel by wormholes (researched by Kip Thorne and shown in Sagan’s novel Contact) is discussed.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • 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.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Travellers Tales

The journeys of the Voyager probes is put in the context of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century, with a centuries-long tradition of sailing ship explorers, and its contemporary thinkers (such as Constantijn Huygens and his son Christian). Their discoveries are compared to the Voyager probes' discoveries among the Jovian and Saturn systems. In Cosmos Update, image processing reconstructs Voyager’s worlds and Voyager’s last portrait of the Solar System as it leaves is shown.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Blues for a Red Planet

The episode, devoted to the planet Mars, begins with scientific and fictional speculation about the Red Planet during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, Edgar Rice Burroughs' science fiction books, and Percival Lowell's false vision of canals on Mars). It then moves to Robert Goddard's early experiments in rocket-building, inspired by reading science fiction, and the work by Mars probes, including the Viking, searching for life on Mars. The episode ends with the possibility of the terraforming and colonization of Mars and a Cosmos Update on the relevance of Mars' environment to Earth's and the possibility of a manned mission to Mars.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Harmony of the Worlds

Beginning with the separation of the fuzzy thinking and pious fraud of astrology from the careful observations of astronomy, Sagan follows the development of astronomical observation. Beginning with constellations and ceremonial calendars (such as those of the Anasazi), the story moves to the debate between Earth and Sun-centered models: Ptolemy and the geocentric worldview, Copernicus' theory, the data-gathering of Tycho Brahe, and the achievements of Johannes Kepler (Kepler's laws of planetary motion and the first science-fiction novel).

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue

Sagan discusses the story of the Heike crab and artificial selection of crabs resembling samurai warriors, as an opening into a larger discussion of evolution through natural selection (and the pitfalls of intelligent design). Among the topics are the development of life on the Cosmic Calendar and the Cambrian explosion; the function of DNA in growth; genetic replication, repairs, and mutation; the common biochemistry of terrestrial organisms; the creation of the molecules of life in the Miller-Urey experiment; and speculation on alien life (such as life in Jupiter's clouds). In the Cosmos Update ten years later, Sagan remarks on RNA also controlling chemical reactions and reproducing itself and the different roles of comets (potentially carrying organic molecules or causing the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event).

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

Carl Sagan opens the program with a description of the cosmos and a "Spaceship of the Imagination" (shaped like a dandelion seed). The ship journeys through the universe's hundred billion galaxies, the Local Group, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula, our Solar System, and finally the planet Earth. Eratosthenes' successful calculation of the circumference of Earth leads to a description of the ancient Library of Alexandria. Finally, the "Ages of Science" are described, before pulling back to the full span of the Cosmic Calendar. Note: This revised version of the series adds an introduction by Ann Druyan, in which she discusses some of the changes that occurred in the years after its broadcast.

Cosmos: A Personal Voyage • 1980 • Astronomy

Life

As we continue to discover the diversity of life on Earth, we are forced to stop and marvel at how tenacious and inventive life is. So, as we forge onward in our robotic explorations of other worlds, we shouldn't be too surprised to find other places where conditions seem to be right for life.

The Planets • 2004 • Astronomy

Atmosphere

In 1971 a Russian spacecraft attempted to photograph Mars, but the planet did not cooperate. Since then, we've learned more about the atmosphere of the red planet, and what makes it similar to, but very different from, our own.

The Planets • 2004 • Astronomy

Terra Firma

This is the story of pioneering missions to neighboring planets and our first glimpses of their awe-inspiring terrains. From the giant lava plains of Venus to the volcanoes on Mars that dwarf Mount Everest, we journey around the rocky planets and then to the icy moons of Jupiter, Saturn and beyond.

The Planets • 2004 • Astronomy

Cassini and the Crown Jewel

Cassini-Huygens has given us a more detailed account of Saturn than we could have ever imagined. Breathtaking images of Saturn and its sparkling rings, a massive 6-sided polar storm, and 62 moons - including the most bizarre worlds in our Solar System -- we have seen them all thanks to Cassini.

Space Probes • 2016 • Astronomy

Voyager: To the Final Frontier

This is the story of the most extraordinary journey in human exploration, the Voyager space mission. In 1977 two unmanned spacecraft were launched by NASA, heading for distant worlds. It would be the first time any man-made object would ever visit the farthest planets of the solar system - Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. On the way the Voyagers would be bombarded by space dust, fried by radiation and discover many of the remarkable wonders of the solar system. Now, at the end of 2012, 35 years and 11 billion miles later, they are leaving the area of the sun's influence. As they journey out into the galaxy beyond they carry a message from Earth, a golden record bolted to the side of each craft describing our civilisation in case of discovery by another. This is the definitive account of the most intrepid explorers in Earth's history.

2012 • Astronomy

Birth of the Earth

The Earth is an amazing place. It provides everything needed to sustain billions of creatures, plants and human civilization. We owe our very existence today to the planet's turbulent past. Our world was formed by a series of cataclysms, from the most powerful blast in the Universe to a planetary collision that could have destroyed it. Yet without these events, the Earth would not exist. Nor we. Could the same extraordinary chain of events have created other earth-like planets elsewhere in the Universe? Inhabited by creatures like us? The odds seem slim. But the incredible story of the birth of our world reveals that earths must be abundant. The question is no longer "are we alone" but "how far away are our neighbors?"

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Asteroids - Worlds that Never Were

Asteroids have a bad reputation as deadly rocks from space. They wiped out the dinosaurs and will be back for us. But that's only half the story. Ancient asteroids built the Earth. And they may have brought life to its barren surface. Asteroids will shape our future as much as our past. They are the perfect location for deep space colonies and could be the stepping stones that eventually send humans out into the cosmos. From icy worlds with more fresh water than Earth to flying mountains of pure metal, a hundred miles wide, scientists are striving to unlock their secrets. Could these enigmatic space rocks hold the key to how life in the Universe arises and is extinguished?

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Comets - Frozen Wanderers

We think of comets as beautiful glowing balls of light streaking across our skies with their long sweeping tails, yet comets are so much more than just a cosmic firework display. Comets have a uniquely important place in modern science. As time machines from the early universe, they could hold the key to unlock the secrets of the cosmos. Comets could even be the origin of life itself. We follow the incredible odyssey of a comet as it sails through the solar system, watching it's every move as it evolves from a dormant chunk of ice and rock into a tumbling, violently active nucleus engulfed in a gaseous haze. What we learn is a revelation; comets are even more mysterious and fascinating than we had ever imagined.

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Megaflares - Cosmic Firestorms

The Universe is a magnetic minefield, with cosmic bombs detonating everywhere. Our own Sun regularly spits out lethal and spectacular flares, capable of battering our power and communications systems here on Earth, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Far out in space, spinning star systems crackle and explode, magnetic monsters rip worlds apart, star-quakes shoot out beams of devastating energy, and galactic flamethrowers fire gamma-rays half way across the Universe. Scientists are only now beginning to comprehend the true variety of the Universe's arsenal. As we uncover the most dangerous megaflares in the cosmos, the question is, will we find Earth in the firing line?

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Planets from Hell

We once thought that our solar system was unique: The only place you could find planets in the entire Universe. Now we know better. For the last twenty years we have been discovering planets at an amazing rate, but they are nothing like we expected. These are truly wild worlds, a collection of monsters. From deep-frozen, toxic snowballs, to scorched and boiling nightmares: Every one is worlds apart from the habitable paradise we know and love here on Earth. Having so far only discovered this zoo of planetary oddballs we must face the question: Is every planet out there a planet from hell?

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Megastorms - The Winds of Creation

Tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, lightning and floods – for us these destructive forces are symptoms of Earth's creative energy. The weather on Earth is one of the drivers for life and even the most violent and destructive storms create new opportunities for life to flourish. In our quest to discover if we are alone in the universe, we have recently hit upon a surprising new approach — we shouldn't just look for worlds, we should look for weather. What is true of Earth could also be true of other planets throughout the whole universe. Across the immense distances of space, find chaotic weather — find that megastorm — and maybe we will find alien life.

How the Universe Works • 2012 • Astronomy

Supernovas

Life is created in unimaginably large explosions called supernovas, scattering the elements formed in the heart of stars. What can they teach us about our origins?

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Planets

From giant burning gas spheres to icy orphaned worlds wandering in interstellar space, explore the strange planets that inhabit the vast spread of the universe.

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Moons

Are moons the most likely place to find life beyond the Earth? Explore the 300 that lie within our solar system which might give an idea of the Earth's turbulent past.

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Solar Systems

Explore the violent formation of our solar system, and look forward to its eventual death. And, what do other planetary systems around far-flung stars look like?

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Galaxies

Witness the evolution of galaxies; from clouds of cold gas floating in the voids of space 13 billion years ago, to the magnificent spirals that fill our night.

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Black Holes

For many years Black Holes were believed to be myths, but modern astronomy is proving the reality of the most powerful destroyers in the Universe.

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Stars

The first episode of this series focuses on a subject that has fascinated scientists for hundreds of years - stars. Right now in the Universe's giant furnaces stars are being born. See how their creation changed the cosmos forever, leading to planets and life itself.

How the Universe Works • 2010 • Astronomy

Across the Universe: The Voyager Show

A spectacular journey into the depths of space: In August 1977, NASA launches one of its most daring missions in space flights. The Deep Space orbiters Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are shot into space. The task of the two orbiters: exploring the outer gas planets in our solar system. More than 30 years later, the two orbiters have traveled a distance of 15 billion miles and still send unique data to Earth. Countless recordings of these orbiters still serve as the only footage of the two planets Uranus and Neptune, and their moons. After more than 30 years of flight Voyager 1 is the farthest from Earth object that mankind has ever created. THE VOYAGER SHOW: ACROSS THE UNIVERSE demonstrates all the technical, historical and astronomical details of the fascinating Voyager missions that continue to this day.

2010 • Astronomy

The Plot Against Gravity

The story of how a large aerospace company, BAE Systems, began a secret project to counter the force of gravity while NASA simultaneously ran a similar 'Breakthrough Propulsion Physics' program.

Space's Deepest Secrets • 2016 • Astronomy

Secret History of the Voyager Mission

Voyager has had a profound effect on our knowledge of the cosmos. Its mission was supposed to last five years but remains ongoing, fundamentally changing our understanding of the solar system. Featuring contributions from key scientists, we’ll explore what’s been achieved and what happens next.

Space's Deepest Secrets • 2016 • Astronomy

Death of the Solar System

An exploration of the dramatic fate of our future descendants, the technology they'll need to survive the end of this world billions of years from now and our options for colonizing and starting again on a new planet somewhere far from Earth.

Space's Deepest Secrets • 2016 • Astronomy

The Universe's Greatest Hits

From the mission that saw Pluto for the first time to the Mars rovers, a new breed of explorers are risking their careers, and even their lives, to lead humanity to worlds we have never seen and tackle the mysteries of life itself.

Space's Deepest Secrets • 2016 • Astronomy

Aliens: The Big Think

The hunt for aliens is on! After a distinguished career in cosmology Professor Martin Rees, the astronomer royal, has taken up the search for extra-terrestrials. Looking for aliens is no longer science fiction - it is a question that's engaging some of the greatest minds in science. As our knowledge of the universe has increased, we're getting closer to answers. Many scientists now think we live in galaxy with a billion Earth-like planets, many of which may be teeming with life. But what kind of life? Has anything evolved into beings we could communicate with? This film gets inside the minds of the scientists considering one of the most exciting and profound questions we can ask - are we alone in the universe? Professor Rees thinks we may have our idea of what an alien is like all wrong. If he's right, it's not organic extra-terrestrials we should look for, it's machines.

2016 • Astronomy

Everything, The Universe...And Life

Here it is, folks: the end. In our final episode of Crash Course Astronomy, Phil gives the course a send off with a look at some of his favorite topics and the big questions that Astronomy allows us to ask.

Crash Course Astronomy • 2016 • Astronomy

Exoplanets

Today Phil explains that YES, there are other planets out there and astonomers have a lot of methods for detecting them. Nearly 2000 have been found so far. The most successful method is using transits, where a planet physically passes in front of its parent star, producing a measurable dip in the star’s light. Another is to measuring the Doppler shift in a star’s light due to reflexive motion as the planet orbits. Exoplanets appear to orbit nearly every kind of star, and we’ve even found planets that are the same size as Earth. We think there may be many billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy.

Crash Course Astronomy • 2015 • Astronomy

Jupiter's Moons

Before moving on from Jupiter to Saturn, we’re going to linger for a moment on Jupiter’s moons. There are 67 known moons, and 4 huge ones that we want to explore in greater detail. Ganymede is the largest - larger, in fact, than any other moon in the solar system and the planet Mercury! Callisto, orbiting the farthest out, is smaller but quite similar to Ganymede in many ways. Io, meanwhile, is most noteworthy for its tremendous volcanic activity. There’s also water on Ganymede and Europa!

Crash Course AstronomyAstronomy

Mars

The fourth planet from the sun and the outermost of the terrestrial planets, Mars has long been a popular spot for missions and imagination. Phil walks you through the planet's topography, core, and features. We'll take a look back to Mars's past and makes predictions for its future, including the possibilities for human life.

Crash Course AstronomyAstronomy

Venus

Venus is a gorgeous naked-eye planet, hanging like a diamond in the twilight -- but it’s beauty is best looked at from afar. Even though Mercury is closer to the sun, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system, due to a runaway greenhouse effect, and has the most volcanic activity in the solar system. Its north and south poles were flipped, causing it to rotate backwards and making for very strange days on this beautiful but inhospitable world.

Crash Course AstronomyAstronomy

The Earth

Phil starts the planet-by-planet tour of the solar system right here at home, Earth.

Crash Course AstronomyAstronomy

The Mistery of the Milky Way

NOVA examines how a simple instrument, the telescope, has fundamentally changed our understanding of our place in the universe. What began as a curiosity—two spectacle lenses held a foot apart—ultimately revolutionized human thought across science, philosophy, and religion. "Hunting the Edge of Space" takes viewers on a global adventure of discovery, dramatizing the innovations in technology and the achievements in science that have marked the rich history of the telescope.

Hunting the Edge of Space • 2012 • Astronomy

The Structure of Earth

…or why we live on an onion made of magma.

Physics

Strangest Things

Take a journey to the strange side of our universe.

Astronomy