Could we be unique in the universe or is there another planet similar to earth somewhere in the cosmos? Is it possible that Alpha Centauri, our nearest star, is home to another earth-like planet? Earth sized planets have been hard to find, but indirect methods are coming on line to give scientists a good survey of how many such bodies may be in the universe. How rare would it be to find life on another earth-like planet?
Category:Science Duration:45:00 Series: The Universe
Professor Brian Cox travels from the fossils of the Burgess Shale to the sands of the oldest desert in the world to show how light holds the key to our understanding of the whole universe, including our own deepest origins. To understand how light holds the key to the story of the universe; you first have to understand its peculiar properties. Brian considers how the properties of light that lend colour to desert sands and the spectrum of a rainbow can lead to profound insights into the history and evolution of our universe. Finally, with some of the world's most fascinating fossils in hand, Brian considers how but for an apparently obscure moment in the early evolutionary history of life, all the secrets of light may have remained hidden. Because although the universe is bathed in light that carries extraordinary amounts of information about where we come from, it would have remained invisible without a crucial evolutionary development that allowed us to see. Only because of that development can we now observe, capture and contemplate the incredible wonders of the universe that we inhabit.
Category:Science Duration:59:00 Series: Wonders of the Universe
We think of comets as beautiful glowing balls of light streaking across our skies with their long sweeping tails, yet comets are so much more than just a cosmic firework display. Comets have a uniquely important place in modern science. As time machines from the early universe, they could hold the key to unlock the secrets of the cosmos. Comets could even be the origin of life itself. We follow the incredible odyssey of a comet as it sails through the solar system, watching it's every move as it evolves from a dormant chunk of ice and rock into a tumbling, violently active nucleus engulfed in a gaseous haze. What we learn is a revelation; comets are even more mysterious and fascinating than we had ever imagined.
Category:Science Duration:43:00 Series: How the Universe Works
How and when will the Universe end? Gravity and dark matter are poised to annihilate the Universe in a big crunch. Expansion and dark energy may tear it apart. Or, a phase transition could kill us tomorrow in a cosmic death bubble.
Category:Science Duration:42:00 Series: How the Universe Works
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