The planets of our solar system have experienced epic catastrophes throughout their long history, both raining down from outside and bubbling up from within. We'll voyage back in time to investigate the violent events that profoundly shaped the planets, including earth itself. We'll witness stunning revelations about what transformed Mars into a barren, hostile desert...The disaster that changed Venus from temperate to hellish...The impact that blew away Mercury's mantle, turning it into a planetary core...A colossal disturbance that rearranged the orbits of the gas ...
At 4.6 billion years old, the Solar System is our solid, secure home in the Universe. But how did it come to be? In this episode we trace the system's birth from a thin cloud of dust and gas. Shocked by a nearby supernova, the pull of gravity and natural rotation spun it into a flat disc from which the Sun and planets coalesced. It all happened in the space of 700 million years, during which the planets jockeyed for position, dodging the brutal bombardment of deadly asteroids and setting into the neat, stable system that we now realize might be a rarity in the ...
What might happen if the first manned mission to Mars crashes hundreds of miles from the rocket that would take them back home? Could they survive the crash, and travel across the brutal Martian surface to their home ship? We'll show what the astronauts would have to do to survive dust storms and space radiation, while extracting vital resources like water from the Martian soil itself. It's a dramatic vision of the very near future, where survival can depend on pre-industrial technology and human ingenuity.
Earth may seem like the most hospitable planet in the solar system. But look again. Startling new discoveries reveal the blue planet has been plagued by more chaos and destruction than scientists once imagined. Stand on the Earth billions of years ago as a primitive planet slams into it. Shiver as our entire globe is frozen over like a gigantic snowball. Feel the heat as mammoth volcanoes scorch the landscape and darken the sky. From a cosmic gamma ray burst frying away the ozone layer to an Everest-size asteroid slamming into the ocean, we'll reveal new information ...
The enterprising alien who wants to visit Earth faces a number of daunting challenges. This program examines the advanced technologies he would need with an emphasis on concepts for interstellar travel humans are exploring.
"The Universe" explores where the universe came from and whether a creator had a hand in making it. As scientists learn more about the universe our ideas about exactly what God made (the earth, the universe, the multi-verse even nothing but empty space) have come into question. But we always seems to be left with something new that a creator had to make to get things going.
This program gives viewers a tangible grasp of the enormity of the universe. Models and comparisons give a perspective on the relative sizes of the largest nearby stars, the scale of the solar system and just how fast the speed of light is.
Now that the Voyagers have visited the outer planets of the solar system they are heading for new adventures in places astronomers call the Oort Cloud, the heliopause, heliosheath and eventually they may encounter double stars and exoplanets, some of which may pay a visit to the solar system one day or explode showering us with radiation. If the Voyagers live so long they will experience the local fluff, local bubble and other parts of the habitable zone of the galaxy.
There is an extraordinary range of temperatures in the universe. This program examines the extreme lower temperature range, the temperature we live in and below, explaining how cold is essential for the formation of habits suitable for life.
The key to understanding the universe seems to be understanding its smallest components. But reconciling the two has proved to be a tremendous scientific challenges as the behavior in the quantum realm bears little resemblance to the universe we know. This program explains some of the strange behavior scientists have discovered at the smallest scales.
Board a virtual space ship to travel along with a variety of comets; long and short period, sun grazers, comets masquerading as asteroids and comets still in deep freeze in the Oort cloud. Then ride along on the NASA probes that visited nearby comets.
The Halocene Impact Working Group postulates that minor comet impacts are fairly frequent but still catastrophic enough to alter human history. This program reviews their research into ancient flood myths, the global cooling event in 535 A.D., the demise of the Clovis people and other events.