The Universe: Season 4
Using stunning HD graphics, The Universe returns in Season 4 to transport viewers past the wonders of our own solar system and out to the bizarre far-flung reaches of the cosmos.
From death stars to ringed planets, star clusters to space wars, The Universe uses new discoveries and more advanced CGI to help explain the mysteries of outer space.
From wormholes to transporters, examine which elements from popular sci-fi movies could really exist; and discover how the universe is awash in all sorts of strange liquids, from oceans of methane to blobs of alcohol floating in space, and even iron rain.
Watch and marvel as experts cook up ten ways to destroy the Earth, including blowing it up with anti-matter, hurling it into the Sun, and colliding with another galaxy.
Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 8 hours)
1. Death Stars. Real life "death stars" that are far worse than the one in Star Wars such as supernovas that unleash massive gamma-ray bursts (GRB) that could eradicate all life for thousands of light years; a look at "WR104", a dying star 8000 light years away that could point a GRB right at Earth, and "3C321", a "death star galaxy" that could be a terrifying vision of what may befall the Milky Way galaxy. Eta Carinae and Betelgeuse are given as examples of stars that could have violent ends that are too close for comfort.
2. The Day the Moon Was Gone. The importance of our moon and what the Earth would be like without one, such as a four hours of sunlight, pitch-black nights, 100 MPH winds spawning massive hurricanes, wild fluctuating climate changes as the planet topples on its axis, and the end of complex life forms – including humans.
3. It Fell From Space. Some of the thousands of objects, both natural and man made, that have plummeted to Earth. From space rocks that have crashed into homes, to rocket parts that have landed on front lawns, scientists share their amazing insights into the phenomena of the cosmos from the study of this space debris.
4. Biggest Blasts. Some of the biggest explosions known, from the "Big Bang", to incredible supernova blasts, to the massive impact of the Chicxulub asteroid on the Yucatan peninsula that was believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
5. The Hunt for Ringed Planets. Planetary rings, especially those of Saturn where house-sized chunks of ice orbit at 53,000 MPH along a chaotic orbital racetrack; how the rings formed and the dangers they pose to spacecraft. Also a look at other rings around Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and possibly Mars; plus Earth's "ring" which is made of some 200 satellites in geosynchronous orbit – the only "man made ring" in the known universe.
6. 10 Ways to Destroy the Earth. Ten events experts envision, (both fun and serious), that could destroy the planet Earth – such as being swallowed up by a microscopic black hole, exploding it with antimatter, hurling it into the sun, and switching off gravity.
7. The Search for Cosmic Clusters. Star clusters; how all stars within them are formed from the same material and are approximately the same age; a look at the two kinds of clusters – "open clusters" which are young and exist in the spiral arms of the galaxy, and "globular clusters" which are old and exist in the outskirts of the galaxy and possibly as old as the universe itself.
8. Space Wars. Military concepts to weaponize space; how such systems would work and how effective would they be, such as an idea of telephone pole-sized rods that could be hurtled down from orbit. Also a look at some more fantastic weapon ideas and defenses against such weapons, such as ground base lasers.
9. Liquid Universe. Places in the solar system where it rains droplets of liquid iron even at hundreds of degrees below zero where there are oceans of liquid methane, and at the center of gas giants where pressure is so great there exists liquid metallic hydrogen.
10. Pulsars and Quasars. Pulsars – tiny objects (only a few miles across) with powerful magnetic fields that spin so fast they appear to blink on and off; and quasars – the remnant cores of ancient galaxies that are so distant from us that they may be the oldest things in the universe.
11. Science Fiction, Science Fact. Fantastic technology concepts, once mocked by physicists, that could be just over the horizon, such as teleportation, anti-gravity, and breaking the light speed barrier. Once only achieved by Hollywood, these concepts are now gaining serious attention within the scientific community.
12. Extreme Energy. The energy emitted by the universe, from powerful jets ejected by black holes, to the nuclear fury of the sun; and how the universe maintains this energy in perfect balance through the conservation of energy.