The Universe • 2011 • episode "S1E2" James May's Things You Need to Know

Category: Astronomy

James May takes a journey of discovery across the universe.

James May's Things You Need to Know • 2011 - 2012 • 7 episodes •


James May reveals a world of facts about Albert Einstein and his groundbreaking theories.

2012 • People

The Universe

James May takes a journey of discovery across the universe.

2011 • Astronomy

The Weather

James May asks the big questions about the weather, including what is a cloud?

2011 • Environment

The Brain

James May cranks open your cranium to reveal what's really taking place inside your head.

2012 • Brain


James May treks into the wilderness to learn about Darwin's theory of natural selection.

2012 • Nature


James May rapidly and easily explains all you need to know about speed.

2012 • Physics


James May gives a nuts and bolts explanation of the fascinating science of engineering.

2012 • Nature

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Extreme Orbits - Clockwork and Creation

Orbits are the dynamics that drive the universe. From the smallest asteroid to the largest super-cluster, everything in the universe is in orbit. We owe our very existence to the stability of earth's orbit — it gave us life and keeps us safe. But we are the freaks. Everywhere else we look we find orbits are chaotic, unstable, and violent. Beyond our solar system we find planets that are blow-torched, stars that eat each other, and black holes that destroy everything in their path. Yet on the very largest scale, orbits are also a creative force. clashing galaxies give birth to new stars and new worlds. on the galactic scale orbits even construct the fabric of the universe itself.

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Naked Eye Observations

Today on Crash Course Astronomy, Phil invites you to head outside and take a look at all the incredible things you can see with your naked eye.

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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.

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Earth Venus's Evil Twin

There is a hellish planet in our solar system; covered in thick dense clouds and roasted by colossal temperatures. Incredibly this is a vision of Earth's future. To understand how our world will be destroyed we need to look at Earth's evil twin Venus.

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The Big Bang

Professor Lawrence Krauss and Professor Michio Kaku explain the physics behind the events in the first second of The Big Bang, events which range from the first fractions of a second after creation: The Plank Era.

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Return to the Moon

The Apollo equipment has sat abandoned on the lunar surface for over 40 years. Now there is a renewed excitement and drive to return to the moon. This time, not to just plant a flag, but to colonize. How would we accomplish this? And why would we do it?

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