Planet Earth has been home to humankind for over 200,000 years, but with a population of 7.3 billion and counting and limited resources, this planet might not support us forever. Professor Stephen Hawking thinks the human species will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive. With climate change, pollution, deforestation, pandemics and population growth, our own planet is becoming increasingly precarious.
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As Nasa releases the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, this film tells the inside story of the telescope's construction and the astronomers taking its first picture of distant stars and galaxies. Will it be the deepest image of our universe ever taken? The successor to Hubble, and 100 times more powerful, the James Webb is the most technically advanced telescope ever built. It will look further back in time than Hubble to an era around 200 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies appeared. Webb's primary mission is to capture the faint light from these objects on the edge of our visible universe so that scientists can learn how they formed, but its instruments are so sensitive it could also be the first telescope to detect signs of life on a distant planet. The James Webb Telescope is an ?8 billion gamble on the skills of its engineering team. It’s the first telescope designed to unfold in space – a complicated two-week operation in which 178 release devices must all work - 107 of them on the telescope's sun shield alone. If just one fails, the expensive telescope could become a giant piece of space junk. From its conception in the late 1980s, the construction of Webb has posed a huge technical challenge. The team must build a mirror six times larger than Hubble’s and construct a vast sun shield the size of a tennis court, fold them up so they fit into an Ariane 5 rocket, then find a way to unfold them in space. This film tells the inside story of the James Webb Space Telescope in the words of the engineers who built it and the astronomers who will use it.
2022 • Astronomy
Astronomers make an extraordinary discovery when they uncover a cosmic mega-structure that's one billion light-years long, and now investigators race to decode the hidden forces that shape the most massive and mysterious structure known in the Universe.
S8E2 • Space's Deepest Secrets • 2021 • Astronomy
How is the universe put together? How is it built? And how does it actually work? Learn how nuclear fusion keeps them burning for billions of years and what powers our nearest star: the Sun. in Part 3 NASA's Parker Solar Probe investigates our Sun.
S9E3 • How the Universe Works • 2021 • Astronomy
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.
S1E2 • The Planets (US) • 2017 • Astronomy
The two Voyager spacecraft have traveled farther than any human-made object in history. As they reach interstellar space, experts explore their most astonishing discoveries and how their extended operation has transformed into the ultimate mission.
S10E6 • How the Universe Works • 2021 • Astronomy
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.
3/5 • The Planets 2019 • 2019 • Astronomy