The Universe
Season 4

s04e01 / Death Stars

19th Aug '09 - 1:00am
Death Stars

Season 4 opens with an exploration of dying stars, the process where stars become supernovae, and, occasionally, become the biggest blast in the universe as a gamma ray burst (GRB). One death star, named WR104, lurks 8,000 light-years from Earth and some believe its GRB arrow is aimed directly at us. A death star galaxy named 3C321 is a frightening vision of what could one day befall the Milky Way galaxy: a companion galaxy's black hole being hammered with a constant blast of high-energy particles, wreaking havoc with its celestial bodies. Nearby, Death Stars Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse burn through their fuel supplies as they hurtle toward extinction...which just may be too close for comfort.

273 have watched this episode

s04e02 / The Day the Moon Was Gone

26th Aug '09 - 1:00am
The Day the Moon Was Gone

A look at what the Earth would be like if the moon did not exist. Includes the changes of the oceans and shifting currents, unusual weather patterns, and the changes which would occur between day and night.

270 have watched this episode

s04e03 / It Fell From Space

2nd Sep '09 - 1:00am
It Fell From Space

An examination of the natural and man-made objects which make their way through earth's atmosphere and make their way to the ground and what can be learned by the scientists. Such items include asteroids, parts off of rockets, comets, meteors and other space debris.

270 have watched this episode

s04e04 / Biggest Blasts

9th Sep '09 - 1:00am
Biggest Blasts

An examination of the most powerful explosions and blasts in the universe. Includes a look at the Mexico's Yucatán peninsula and the impact which caused the Chicxulub crater. Also a look at gamma rays and Big Bang Theory.

271 have watched this episode

s04e05 / Ringed Planets

16th Sep '09 - 1:00am
Ringed Planets

They are breathtaking, lethal and a constant source of surprise. The stunning rings of Saturn have mesmerized countless scientists over the centuries. With particles the size of a house shooting at 53,000 miles per hour around the planet, any spacecraft passing through would meet an instant and catastrophic end. Inside the rings is like a NASCAR race - with bumping, jostling and frequent collisions that can cause a massive spin-out. Lesser known are the other planets that have rings - Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, possibly Pluto and Mars. Even Earth has a ring. Comprised of some 200 satellites in a geosynchronous orbit, it is the only known man-made ring in the universe. But the most remarkable thing about rings is that they contain the story of the birth of our solar system, and entire distant galaxies. Rings are more than a wonder of the universe - they reveal the secrets of our own origins.

270 have watched this episode

s04e06 / 10 Ways to Destroy the Earth

23rd Sep '09 - 1:00am
10 Ways to Destroy the Earth

Experts cook up ways you could destroy the Earth, including swallowing it with a black hole, blowing it up with anti-matter, hurling it into the Sun, and switching off gravity.

271 have watched this episode

s04e07 / The Search for Cosmic Clusters

30th Sep '09 - 1:00am
The Search for Cosmic Clusters

They are the one-stop-shopping places for learning all about the nature and variety of stars in the Universe. They're unique, because in clusters, all the stars were born at about the same time, from the same material and all are at the same approximate distance from Earth. This means we can be sure that any differences among them are due to their true natures and not distorted by different distances from Earth and other factors.

270 have watched this episode

s04e08 / Space Wars

7th Oct '09 - 1:00am
Space Wars

So far no country has put weapons into space but they can shoot down satellites. If weapons do become part of space, how will they work, how effective will they be, and what damage could they do? From ground-based lasers to telephone pole sized rods hurtling from space at two miles per second to the far out weapons of the distant future.

270 have watched this episode

s04e09 / Liquid Universe

21st Oct '09 - 1:00am
Liquid Universe

On alien planets it rains from the sky as scalding iron. On distant moons, even at hundreds of degrees below zero, they slosh around in lakes of methane. They can cover planets in oceans of electrified hydrogen metal. They churn in dead stars and even our planet. They're so rare in the universe, they almost don't exist, but these are the liquids of our Liquid Universe.

271 have watched this episode

s04e10 / Pulsars & Quasars

28th Oct '09 - 1:00am
Pulsars & Quasars

Pulsars are tiny, only a few miles across but spin as fast as a blender and sweep the sky with beacons of radiation that make them appear to flash on and off. They have unbelievably strong magnetic fields, are more accurate than atomic clocks and they can even tell aliens just where to find the Earth! Quasars are at the other end of the spectrum. Quasars are huge cores of galaxies with black holes that are called "monsters" and which spit lobes of radiating gas called "DRAGNs". Quasars are so far away, we see them as they were only in the distant past - meaning they existed only in the early universe, when they may have played a major role in the creation of the galaxies themselves.

271 have watched this episode

s04e11 / Science Fiction, Science Fact

4th Nov '09 - 2:00am
Science Fiction, Science Fact

The world of tomorrow is quickly becoming the futuristic world of today. While you may not be "beaming" to your next appointment, researchers are preparing for the first tests of a transporter. And while scientists have long mocked Hollywood's visions of warp speed a new generation of physicists continues to rewrite the fundamental rules of the universe. Is there a way around the cosmic speed limit?

269 have watched this episode

s04e12 / Extreme Energy

11th Nov '09 - 2:00am
Extreme Energy

Ours is a universe of energy, from powerful jets ejected from black holes to the raw nuclear fury of our Sun. But, the total amount of energy in the universe maintains perfect equilibrium - no more can be added or taken away.

270 have watched this episode
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