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Going Big

   2024    Science
In the concluding episode of the series, Jim encounters ever larger cosmic structures to reveal the latest breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe. For example, Jim comes face to face with our galactic home, the Milky Way, a monstrous structure sculpted by the gravitational forces of dark matter. Jim finds out from pioneering researcher Adrian Fabian about the black hole at its centre, whose strange behaviour includes emitting the lowest note that can be heard in the cosmos.
At an even greater scale, Jim encounters huge structures such as the Laniakea Supercluster, of which the Milky Way is only a tiny part. Then there’s the 'Giant Arc', a collection of galaxies that account for more than three per cent of the observable universe. Jim learns from its discoverer, British PhD student Alexia Lopez, that this gargantuan structure is forcing scientists to reassess their theory of how the universe evolves and may overturn some of the most fundamental principles in physics.
Series: Secrets of Size: Atoms to Supergalaxies

The Big Bang: Before the Dawn

   2021    Science
How did the universe come to be? Thanks to a series of discoveries, our most powerful space missions have unravelled 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution and revealed the story of our universe from its birth all the way to the arrival of our nascent civilization. Our guide on this odyssey back to the dawn of time is light. Telescopes are time machines - by looking out into the distant universe, they open a window to the past. One telescope more than any other has helped us journey through the history of the universe: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Remarkably, Hubble has even found one of the first galaxies ever to exist in the universe, which was born some 13.4 billion years ago. It's a discovery that hints at the beginnings of our own Milky Way. Vivid CGI brings this ancient galaxy to life, allowing us to witness for ourselves the first dawn. It was the beginning of a relationship between stars and planets that would, on a faraway world, lead to the origin of life - and ultimately to us.
Hubble’s incredible discoveries have allowed scientists to piece together much of our cosmic story, but it cannot take us back to the most important moment in history: the Big Bang. For decades, the moment the universe began was the subject of pure speculation, but by combining astronomy and cosmology, scientists have finally found a way to put their theories to the test and study the momentous events that took place during the Big Bang. They can do this because the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope has seen the afterglow of the Big Bang itself – something we call the Cosmic Microwave Background. The unparalleled detail Planck gave us has helped confirm something remarkable: the Big Bang may not be the beginning. There was a time before the dawn – a place beyond anything we can comprehend. Professor Brian Cox transports us back to the fraction of a second before the Big Bang, when the seeds of our universe were planted.
Series: Universe

The Milky Way: Island of Light

   2021    Science
Professor Brian Cox continues his epic exploration of the cosmos by looking at the faint band of light that sweeps across the night sky - our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The Sun is just one of almost 400 billion stars that form this vast, majestic disk of light, our own home in the universe. Thanks to a cutting-edge space we’re finally able to reveal the Milky Way’s dramatic history and predict its cataclysmic future.
Our galaxy started out a fraction of the size it is today, and Gaia telescope has revealed how it grew over the eons. Beautifully rendered VFX based on the very latest Gaia data has uncovered the remarkable story of our galaxy’s evolution. As our young galaxy encountered rival galaxies, it experienced a series of violent growth spurts and intense periods of cataclysmic change while battling to survive. Each time our galaxy feeds, a new era of star formation begins, fuelled by incoming torrents of fresh gas and energy. And there is another collision to come. Another, larger galaxy is coming our way. Andromeda is heading straight for us at a quarter of a million miles per hour. The Milky Way’s long-term fate is in the balance.
Series: Universe

Mystery of Alien Worlds

   2021    Science
Exoplanets, strange worlds outside our solar system. We're discovering the cosmos is full of alien planets. Alien worlds that challenge our understanding of planetary systems. Hellishly hot worlds, violently colliding worlds, worlds getting eaten by their stars. There's much, much more out there than we had ever imagined.
Exoplanets are shaking up our understanding of the universe. The cosmos is a chaotic array of the odd, the weird, and the wonderful. The more we find, the less we know.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 9

War of the Galaxies

   2021    Science
Our universe is at war. The universe is a very violent and deadly place. Entire galaxies fight to the death. Only the strongest survive. If a galaxy wants to stay alive, it has to feed on other galaxies. Our own galaxy also fights for survival. These battles are how galaxies live, grow, and die. These collisions got us to where we are today, and they're going to determine the future of the universe.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 9

Earth Death Orbit

   2019    Science
We're unlocking the secrets of our planet's voyage and discovering that earth's journey affects us all. The Earth is extremely dynamic. It is spinning on its axis, it's whirling about the sun and it's corkscrewing throughout the this galaxy. And there is the fact than Andromeda and the Milky Way are currently 2.5 million light-years apart, but they're hurtling towards each other at over 250,000 miles an hour. A collision is inevitable. As stars, dust, and gas swirl around each other, gravitational interactions could slingshot our solar system out into intergalactic space.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 8
Top Gear

Top Gear

2012  Technology
Minimalism

Minimalism

2015  Culture
Prehistoric Planet

Prehistoric Planet

2022  Science
The Last Dance

The Last Dance

2020  Culture
Life in a Day

Life in a Day

2021  Culture
A Perfect Planet

A Perfect Planet

2021  Nature