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Gravitational Waves Revealed

   2021    Science
In astronomy, we've been looking at different kinds of light and opening up the universe a little bit more of the time. But then in 2015, the roof came off. Something happened that changed everything, the ability to see waves in space and time itself. Gravitational waves help us roll back the clock to the dawn of time, discover epic cosmic collisions, on make Earth-shaking discoveries. Gravitational waves are the biggest game changer since the invention of the telescope. We have a completely new universe to view now. A new exploration of space is just beginning.
Series: How the Universe Works Series 9

Alien Worlds: The Search for Second Earth

   2021    Science
Humans have long gazed up at the night sky, wondering whether other lifeforms and intelligences could be thriving on worlds far beyond our own. But over the last few decades, ultra-sensitive telescopes and dogged detective work have transformed alien planet-hunting from science fiction into hard fact. We expected to find worlds similar to the planets in our own solar system, but we instead discovered a riot of exotic worlds. Vivid animation based on data from the most successful planet hunter of them all, the Kepler space telescope, brings these worlds into view: puffy planets with the density of polystyrene, unstable worlds orbiting two suns and 1,000-degree, broiling gas giants with skies whipped into titanic winds.
But perhaps the most startling discovery was the number of worlds that may be contenders for a second Earth, at the right distance from their sun to have that ingredient so crucial for life as we know it, liquid water. Amongst them, we witness the most tantalizing discovery of all: a so-called ‘super-Earth’, situated in the Goldilocks zone - the area just the right distance from a sun to potentially support life - and with the faint signal of water in its atmosphere.
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

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

Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston
Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston

   2004    Art
Future of Work
Future of Work

   2021    Technology
Natural World
Natural World

   2017    Nature
The Beatles: Get Back
The Beatles: Get Back

   2021    Art
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
Alien Worlds
Alien Worlds

   2020    Science
Prehistoric America
Prehistoric America

   2003    Nature
The Human Body
The Human Body

   1998    Medicine