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 • 9 episodes •


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

2012 • People

The Human Body

James uses motion graphics to help find the answers to key questions about the human body

2011 • Health

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


James May distills the secrets of all you need to know about chemistry.

2012 • Science

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Astronomers study a lot of gorgeous things, but nebulae might be the most breathtakingly beautiful of them all. Nebulae are clouds of gas and dust in space. They can glow on their own or reflect light from nearby stars. When they glow it’s usually predominantly red from hydrogen and green from oxygen, and when they reflect and scatter light it’s from massive hot stars, so they look blue. Stars are born in some nebulae, and create new ones as they die. Some nebulae are small and dense, others can be dozens or hundreds of light years across.

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Dawn of Life

Discovering how life on Earth came to be; the possibility that life on Earth come from another planet.

S4E5How the Universe Works • 2015 • Astronomy

Dark Matter

Today on Crash Course Astronomy, Phil dives into some very dark matters. The stuff we can actually observe in the universe isn’t all there is. Galaxies and other large structures in the universe are created and shifted by a force we detect mostly indirectly, by observing its impact: DARK MATTER.

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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


Scientists are only now starting to unravel the secrets of comets. Often referred to as dirty snowballs, they contain ice and elements from the very start of the universe. Some theorize that a comet, crashing into our planet, brought with it the organic material that started life on Earth. Spacecraft continues to offer new information on their makeup, from bringing back samples from a comet's tail to direct contact when a NASA-launched craft slammed into the comet Tempel-1.

Planet Science • 2007 • 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.

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