Touching the Sun • 2019 Breakthrough

Category: Astronomy
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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.

Breakthrough • 2018 - 2019 • 10 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

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

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

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

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

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Today Phil follows up last week’s look at the death of low mass stars with what comes next: a white dwarf. White dwarfs are incredibly hot and dense objects roughly the size of Earth. They also can form planetary nebulae: huge, intricately detailed objects created when the wind blown from the dying stars is lit up by the central white dwarf. They only last a few millennia. The Sun probably won’t form one, but higher mass stars do.

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Today Phil explains how telescopes work and offers up some astronomical shopping advice.

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