Earth is the most colourful place we know of. But the colours we see are far more complex and fascinating than they appear. In this series, Dr Helen Czerski uncovers what colour is, how it works, and how it has written the story of our planet - from the colours that transformed a dull ball of rock into a vivid jewel to the colours that life has used to survive and thrive". But the story doesn't end there - there are also the colours that we can't see, the ones that lie beyond the rainbow. Each one has a fascinating story to tell. Early Earth was a canvas for the vast new palette of the colours of life, with the diversity of human skin tones telling the story of how humanity spread and ultimately conquered the planet. Dr Helen Czerski explores the true masters of colour - which are often the smallest and most elusive - travelling to the mountains of Tennessee to witness the colourful mating display of fireflies, and revealing the marine creatures that can change the colour of their skin in order to hide from the world.
Category:Science Duration:58:00 Series: Colour The Spectrum of Science
August 6th 1945 marked the start of a terrifying new episode in human history. This documentary marks the 70th anniversary of the day when the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by a Boeing B-29 USAF Superfortress bomber, nicknamed Enola Gay after the pilot's mother". Up to 80,000 people - 30 per cent of the population - were killed by the blast and resulting firestorm and over 70,000 were injured. This documentary gives a minute-by-minute account of what happened on that fateful day, through the testimony of people who were there and rarely-seen archive footage from the time. Made on location in Hiroshima and the USA, it features unique interviews with eyewitnesses who have seldom, if ever, spoken about the experience. Several of them are no longer alive, they include the last surviving member of the crew of the Enola Gay - navigator Dutch Van Kirk who died in July 2014.
New planets are now being discovered outside our solar system on a regular basis, and these strange new worlds are forcing scientists to rewrite the history of our own solar system. Far from a simple story of stable orbits, the creation of our solar system is a tale of hellfire, chaos and planetary pinball. It's a miracle our Earth is here at all.
Long ago, two species of human beings coexisted on Earth until competition drove one of them to extinction. This program, set in the southwest of France 35,000 years ago, reconstructs the life in the Neanderthal world at the time Cro-Magnons first entered the scene. All aspects of Neanderthal clan life are examined, including tool- and weapon-making, hunting and gathering, health and healing, childbirth, rituals, and making fire. Footage of skeletal remains and the scholarly research of eminent paleontologist Chris Stringer and Oxford University's Paul Pettitt support the documentary.
Category:History Duration:49:00 Series: Neanderthal
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