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The Immortals

   2014    Science
This episode covers the nature of how life may have developed on Earth and the possibility of life on other planets. Tyson begins by explaining how the human development of writing systems enabled the transfer of information through generations, describing how Princess Enheduanna ca. 2280 BCE would be one of the first to sign her name to her works, and how Gilgamesh collected stories, including that of Utnapishtim documenting a great flood comparable to the story of Noah's Ark. Tyson explains how DNA similarly records information to propagate life, and postulates theories of how DNA originated on Earth, including evolution from a shallow tide pool, or from the ejecta of meteor collisions from other planets. In the latter case, Tyson explains how comparing the composition of the Nakhla meteorite in 1911 to results collected by the Viking program demonstrated that material from Mars could transit to Earth, and the ability of some microbes to survive the harsh conditions of space. With the motions of solar systems through the galaxy over billions of years, life could conceivably propagate from planet to planet in the same manner. Tyson then moves on to consider if life on other planets could exist. He explains how Project Diana performed in the 1960s showed that radio waves are able to travel in space, and that all of humanity's broadcast signals continue to radiate into space from our planet. Tyson notes that projects have since looked for similar signals potentially emanating from other solar systems. Tyson then explains that the development and lifespan of extraterrestrial civilizations must be considered for such detection to be realized. He notes that civilizations can be wiped out by cosmic events like supernovae, natural disasters such as the Toba disaster, or even self-destruct through war or other means, making probability estimates difficult. Tyson describes how elliptical galaxies, in which some of the oldest red dwarf stars exist, would offer the best chance of finding established civilizations. Tyson concludes that human intelligence properly applied should allow our species to avoid such disasters and enable us to migrate beyond the Earth before the Sun's eventual transformation into a red giant.
Series: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Monster we met: The End of Eden

   2006    Science
New Zealand - 850 years ago New Zealand was the last major land mass to be discovered and colonised by humans. A mere 850 years ago, Polynesian seafarers arrived in a land with no terrestrial mammals. New Zealand was a land of birds, and its avian rulers were giants: huge herbivorous moas were hunted by Haast's eagle - the largest eagle the world has ever seen. But within the space of only 100-400 years, the eagle, all the moas and over 20 other species of birds were gone. Had mankind become the monster?

New Worlds

   2001    Nature
Sam Neill explores humanity's long-term future - a future where we make new homes for ourselves on other worlds as we flee from the slow but inevitable death of our sun.
Series: Space

Can Time Go Backwards

   2015    Science
We move around in space, but we are stuck in a prison of time moving ever forwards. Einstein said, 'The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.' Is our experience of the ticking clock merely a trick of the mind? Could science ever make the clock move backwards? Experiments in quantum physics are showing that the future influences the present: what happens later limits the choices we think we have now. The laws of physics say visiting or talking to ourselves in the past is possible – but changing history once we get there is not.
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 6

Man on Mars Mission to the Red Planet

   2014    Technology
Let's go behind the scenes at NASA to discover how it is preparing for its most ambitious and daring mission: to land men - and possibly women - on the surface of Mars. It's over 40 years since Neil Armstrong made the first human footprint on the moon. But getting to the red planet would involve a journey of at least three years. Meet the scientists and engineers who are designing new rockets, new space suits and finding ways to help astronauts survive the perils of this long voyage. And it turns out that having the 'right stuff' for a mission to mars might not be quite what you expect.
Stangest Things
Stangest Things

   2021    History
How the Universe Works
How the Universe Works

   2014    Science
Tiger
Tiger

   2020    History
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Dirty Money
Dirty Money

   2018    Culture
Magic Numbers
Magic Numbers

   2018    Science
How Art Made the World
How Art Made the World

   2006    Art
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine