A stellar explosion, the supernova is the sensational death of a star. It can shine as bright as 100 billion Suns and radiate as much energy as the Sun would emit over 10 billion years. Jets of high-energy light and matter are propelled into space and can cause massive Gamma Ray Bursts and emit intense X-ray radiation for thousands of years. Astronomers believe that this process creates the very building blocks of planets, people and plants. Meet the world's leading Supernova hunters, and take a look at recorded supernovas throughout history.
From the planets to the stars and out to the edge of the unknown, history and science collide in this epic exploration of the Universe and its mysteries. It's a very old universe. Yet just 50 years since man first ventured into outer space, the heavens are yielding their greatest secrets. Robotic rovers give us eyes on the red rock of Mars - NASA probes slam into comets at hyper speed - deep-space telescopes capture unhappy images of the birth of stars and their collapse into black holes. All have significantly changed the way we see ourselves.
We wonder, is there anywhere else out there that that can support life? Using cutting-edge computer graphics, this series brings the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on other planets, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres. Episodes examine how discoveries were made and the scientists and explorers who dared to venture into the uncharted territory of the universe.