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.
Episode Viewers and Ratings
Season 4 Episode 1 of The Universe resulted in a 0.00 rating in the 18-49 demographic.
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.