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Perpetual Power

   2021    Technology
The meteoric rise of renewable energy has consequences for our electricity supply. While coal and gas fired power stations can generate electricity whenever you need it, renewables are intermittent by nature. So we need a backup plan for when the wind stops or the sun goes down.
All over the world, engineers and scientists are racing to solve one key problem; how to safely and efficiently store electricity at a huge scale but at a low cost. The quest is producing some truly remarkable ideas and this episode details three of them.
Series: Engineering the Future

Black Holes: Heart of Darkness

   2021    Science
The centre of our galaxy is home to an invisible monster of unimaginable power – a supermassive black hole named Sagittarius A star, with four million times the mass of the Sun. Recent astronomical breakthroughs have confirmed not only that black holes like Sagittarius A star exist, but that these bizarre invisible objects may be the ultimate galactic protagonists.
Stunning CGI takes us back to witness the fiery origins of our galaxy’s black hole 13.6 billion years ago, when the early universe was home to colossal blue stars, and when they ran out of fuel, they collapsed under their own enormous mass, crushing down into an object so small and so dense it punched a hole in the fabric of the universe. Over billions of years, Sagittarius A star feasted on nearby gas, stars, and through cataclysmic mergers with other black holes. A breakthrough discovery by Nasa’s Fermi gamma-ray telescope has shown that our black hole had the power to sculpt the entire galaxy, creating vast bubbles of gas above and below our galaxy and even protecting stars systems as ours.
In a mind-bending conclusion, Brian Cox reveals how our modern understanding of black holes is challenging our concepts of reality to the breaking point. In trying to understand the fate of objects that fall into Sagittarius A star, scientists have come to a stunning conclusion: space and time, concepts so foundational to how we experience the world around us, are not as fundamental as we once thought.
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

The Sun: God Star

   2021    Science
Professor Brian Cox journeys across the vastness of time and space revealing epic moments of sheer drama that changed the universe forever.
The series begins this epic exploration of the cosmos with a hymn to the great luminous bodies that bring light and warmth to the universe: the stars. It is estimated that there are two hundred trillion stars in the universe, each playing their part in an epic story of creation- a great saga that stretches from the dawn of time, with the arrival of the first star, through diverse generations until the arrival of our own star, the sun, and a civilization that has grown up in its light.
Series: Universe

The Next Supernova

   2021    Science
There's a killer lurking in our galaxy, a star ready to explode into a supernova. Seen from Earth, a supernova in the Milky Wave would have a terrible beauty. But for us, it could be fatal. In a few seconds, it can release as much energy as the sun will over its entire lifetime. It could be anywhere. It is nearly impossible to predict where and when the next supernova will happen. The hunt is on to find the next supernova before it finds us.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 9

Secrets of the Sun

   2021    Science
The Sun is a endless churning cauldron of nuclear reactions and our planet is at its mercy. Revealing its inner workings was once mission impossible, but not any more. We've recruited a fleet of spacecraft that monitor the Sun 24 hours a day, under close surveillance. We just might have what it takes to defend our planet.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 9
The Jinx

The Jinx

      History
Motivation

Motivation

   2017    Culture
Out of the Cradle

Out of the Cradle

   2019    History
Conversations with Dolphins

Conversations with Dolphins

   2016    Science
The Mind Explained

The Mind Explained

   2019    Medicine
The Beatles: Get Back

The Beatles: Get Back

   2021    Art
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
Clash of the Gods

Clash of the Gods

   2009    History