Cosmic Journeys

Cosmic Journeys

2011, Science  -  Playlist 46 Comments
Ratings: 7.83/10 from 53 users.

Cosmic JourneysCutting-edge stories about the origins of the universe, black holes, exploding stars, the search for ET life, and the nature of the planets.

How did the universe begin? Where will it end? Are there other worlds like Earth?

A groundbreaking series combs the rubble of exploding stars and the collision of worlds in search of answers to our most searching questions about the cosmos.

Crashing into the Moon. Half a dozen countries are launching missions to the Moon to pave the way for a permanent human presence.

Attack of the Sun. Massive solar eruptions could threaten our high-tech society.

The Asteroid that Flattened Mars. Just about every two years, the planet Mars makes its closest approach to Earth around 36 million miles.

Super Hurricanes. Why some tropical storms erupt into monster hurricanes capable of wrecking coastlines. Can they be predicted?

Saturn's Mysterious Moons. Some 900 million miles from the Sun in the outer regions of our Solar System orbiting the planet Saturnlies a mysterious world.

The Largest Black Holes in the Universe. We've never seen them directly, yet we know they are there, lurking within dense star clusters or wandering the dust lanes of the galaxy, where they prey on stars, or swallow planets whole.

How Large is the Universe? The universe has long captivated us with its immense scales of distance and time. How far does it stretch? Where does it end and what lies beyond its star fields and streams of galaxies extending as far as telescopes can see?

When Will Time End? Time is flying by on this busy, crowded planet as life changes and evolves from second to second. And yet, even the life span of the human species is just a blip compared to the age of the universe, at 13.7 billion years and counting.

The Incredible Journey of Apollo 12. It's the ultimate buddy movie. Forty years ago, on November 19, 1969, astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed on the moon in one of the most important of the Apollo flights.

Supermassive Black Hole in the Milky Way Galaxy. From a distance, our galaxy would look like a flat spiral, some 100,000 light years across, with pockets of gas, clouds of dust, and about 400 billion stars rotating around the galaxys center.

The Search For Earth-Like Planets. The search for Earth-like planets is reaching a fever-pitch. Does the evidence so far help shed light on the ancient question: Is the galaxy filled with life, or is Earth just a beautiful, lonely aberration?

Voyage to Pandora: Humanity's First Interstellar Flight. Pandora is the idyllic blue world featured in the movie Avatar. Its location is a real place: Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to our Sun and the most likely destination for our first journey beyond the solar system.

Hubble 20 Years of Space-Shattering Discoveries. NASA's tribute to the Hubble Space Telescope on its 20th anniversary in space. This beautiful video surveys the incredible accomplishments of this revolutionary instrument: everybody's favorite telescope.

Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity. Can you feel the pull? This cutting-edge production features high-resolution visualizations of black holes and other cosmic phenomena based on data generated by telescope observations and ultra-high end computer simulations.

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Joseph Anthony
3 years ago

They never seem to ask or broach these thoughts: What existed before the Big Bang? What if the Big Bang is just one of an eternity and infinite number of Big Bangs creating "universes" beyond our perception? This is a "universe" that has no beginning and no end.

6 years ago

@Raoul Duke and im 6'7 weighing 310. i would love to take you up on that and tell you why survival of the fittest is a natural part of evolution. if they are starving there is a reason.

7 years ago

For the people thinking this is a waste of money,I do believe there are much worse case examples of irresponsibility than this and if you really looked into it I would hope that fact would become clear.You could start with the vast amounts of charitable money and food that never helps or feeds the ones it's for because of greed & corruption and from there you could look into some taxpayer funded studies like the gambling habits of monkeys.
If this type of funding was discontinued and re-channeled,I highly doubt it would be better used in helping anybody that actually needed it.

7 years ago

@normal and many others…..

there is not going to be poor and hungry people to take care of if we do not get to another solar system before the sun explodes.

I understand that idea is way out there both in time and concept, but it is going to happen and if humans somehow make it that far, they are probably not going to want to be near by when it does.

It creates jobs, creates a reason for people to get an education, as previously stated gives back to the economy.

11 years ago

I love these documentaries, awesome

12 years ago

buenisimo! recomendable!

12 years ago

i think this is ace, well done topdocs great great suff :)

12 years ago

@ dustin:

6'2" and 275 lbs. eh? So you threaten people online. You sound like a overweight, redneck a$$h0le with that kind of comment. Then you try to come off like the compassionate one! You'll get yours one day fats. Please don't scare me!! =;0)

12 years ago

@Ramus - you should check out a BBC - Horizon documentary called "What happened before the big bang". There are quite a few cosmologists who dont believe the big bang happened, and it presents a few different viewpoints that seem to make much more sense than the idea that out of nothingness all matter that makes up the universe decided to suddenly expand and create time and space. The whole 'dark matter' issue of the big bang makes me think that there are some serious problems with the big bang expansion model.

12 years ago

one of the best space docs I have ever seen! Lots of detailed information, presented in a interesting format with great visuals. History Channel and Discovery should take some notes on this one.

12 years ago

Maybe someone can explain something to me. If scientists take an image from light 13b light years away then by that it has taken 13b years to get to us. But that means the light originated when the universe was only 700m years old and the universe was closer together.
So is the universe expanding close to the speed of light? Did it start expanding 1000s of times faster than light and is now slowing down enough for the photons to catch us up? Have we always been 13b light years from the source and the expansion is static?

12 years ago

Interesting indeed -- but why does the narrator have a robotic edge to his narration? Weird...HAL returns lol.

12 years ago

Another wonderful space doc! Just love ´em!

Question to Vlatko:
Have you ever considered a crime genre of documentaries?

12 years ago

I would like to say, that population increase, in areas that can not support the population they already have, is irresponsible and presents a very real danger to all life on the planet in the form of increased criminal activity and increased use of "dirty" energy. If you area starving already, and decide to bring another life into the world, where you know full well that there isn't the resources to support that life, you are the murderer, not the people that refuse to take responsibility for your choice. Contraception and education, while useful do not solve the problem. Only a resource based world economy can solve all of our problems and nothing can solve them immediately any attempt will take time, and in that time many more starving people will die. We must accept that our planet can only support so many lives, and with resources being distributed by men that have no idea of the reality of most of our lives, many more will die. All of the blaming and pointing fingers wont help those people to live, only a responsible use of our resources and planned parent-hood will make the changes needed to save lives, lives of those born already, and those unborn. Let it be known that i wish death on no living thing, human or otherwise, but all the love for life in the world will not feed the starving people on this planet.

13 years ago

I would like to add that I do not wish for Africans to take the fall for our greed. I do not want them to die for what we have done unto them.

What I would like to do is for us to stop living the way we do, and either go back to nature so what we and others may survive, and in time the planet heal (providing new recources for Africans, etc), OR take the other road and simply stop caring for starving people, and consider their death an act of evolution (survival of the fittest). I would loathe the latter option, but unfortunately it seems the most compatible with our species mindset. The only thing we do know is that what we're doing right now, it's failing.

13 years ago

A lot of hypocrites here.

Of course humans are numbers. The world is insanely overpopulated, and our entire society today is based on eternal growth, and our views on life is eternal life (which is where religion comes from, naturally). These views goes hand in hand with not only our extinction, but possibly the death of a planet; until we realise we aren't as important as we may think, and stop the hypocrisy of pretending to care for every starving child in Africa in front of our modern computers, there won't be an end to it.

And for the people who keep commenting things like "If you saw a starving African child, would you not help it?", quit the bullsh*t! It is you who causes this child to starve, and the only way you could ever help this child is if you chose to quit your lifestyle filled with western ideals of capitalism, eternal growth, and american dreams.

The people of Africa would be fine, weren't it for your spending, your consuming, your luxury.

Furthermore, people NEED TO DIE. It is a hard fact. No, I do not want to die myself. Nor do you, I assume. Nor does the children of Africa. In their sane, natural state of mind, people want to survive--it is the very essence of evolution. We want to live.

BUT, is it really that wise to spend heaps of money and recources, year after year, feeding starving people, curing the sick and old, when we KNOW for a fact that all this will mean in the end is that we ALL will die? What about the children of tomorrow? Are they not even allowed to have a chance at life, just because we refuse to die? Overpopulation is THE root of so many of the problems adressed, and once it has gone too far, a three year old could assume it will be our end. The world is only so large, and it has only so much recources, and already we borrow recources from future generations. Do you realise that humanity has more than doubled in only the last sixty years or so? AND STILL YOU WON'T LET PEOPLE DIE? Sometimes, the way to save most lives is to be a little utilitarian.

On topic, I find space exploration very exciting, but I fear it is all in vain, as colonising other planets would only provide us another host to devour, parasitic as we are. Until we evolve enough to solve our own problems at their core, nothing will save us, and our home, from extinction.

13 years ago

Stunning! We can't be alone?

13 years ago

am more afraid of Coronal Mass Emissions and solar winds attacking earth than asteroids, coz asteroids will anhillate me at the worst circumstances but CMEs will cause slow death and suffering

13 years ago

Our resources are used to effort one rocket and its payload into orbit of this planet and beyond. Yet we are visited by beings of other planets that enter and leave this planets gravitational field without this wasteful effort. Does this
prove to you that there are other ways to accomplish movement without such wasteful and dangerous methods? The search for answers to this question intrigues the mind. Perhaps controllers are not allowing the secrets of this
universal travel. The need to control restrictions, to observe and to prove the process prevents us from reaching new realms of understanding. The ability to trust our government is profoundly stricken with restrictions to allow them to rule us all into slavery because, oh- perhaps their power structures and monetary systems they uphold. Until "we the people" open the doors of freedom, the dark forces holding us from our gain into evolving will simply continue to fail. Governed selfish acts will be an ongoing journey into the aiming of the slavery of mankind. While the population sits back and allows this cronic law making society to continue. It's suppose to be the peoples choice to move foreward, not the control of a selfish government taking our freedom away and restricting us all on a daily basis. Applying a law instead of the advancement of technology is a shame. Why is everyone simply allowing this to happen?
Are the people not yet tired of being punished- or is illogical electronic games, silly ball sports, distruction of our enviroment by constant new flow of gasoline burning vehicles being enbraced? Among many other non advancing distractions being applied to mask our evolution? Yup, everyday. Anyone take notice how oil industries restrict battery technology for electric vehicles? It's about the money, an evil beyond discription.

13 years ago

SPACE? wow always catches my interests, whenever i saw a outer space documentary i would be gazzled to watch that s***. always love to watch and learn new things about SPACE!!

13 years ago

Pretty interesting stuff. On a random note though, does the narrator's tone of voice remind anyone of the G-man from Half Life, or is it just me? Adds a slight sinister overtone to them.

13 years ago


I'm obliged to agree with you!

13 years ago

I love this documentary. Learning is one of the greatest tools.

@Jota and everyone who is currently arguing;

Each and one of you have great views and ideas about the world. I am glad to see that the world is filled with such diversity. However, the extreme attitude that abrades others instead of trying to verbalize your opinions through understanding is offensive. I very much enjoy the documentary; just as I enjoy seeking greater understanding of the world around us.

Without science, we would not be able to advance forward as who we are today. However, without compassion, we wouldn't be existing at all.

And I don't just mean compassion towards starving children, I mean compassion towards each other as well. While everyone waste the time typing up these pointless arguments, advocating against some faceless name over the internet. you could have helped the elderly crossed the street; wrote a post card to your loved ones; enjoy time with your friends; or even striving for the noble goal of helping the world to become a better place.

Instead of wasting so much time on trying so hard to prove someone else wrong; why don't we spent the time on doing the right things ourselves.

13 years ago

@ Jota.
Your "poor" and yet your talking to us from a computer.

@ normal.

I understand your concern for humanities disprivileged but its life and sadly we cannot make everybody happy.

Overall. Good documentary.

13 years ago

Great set of documentaries! Thanks admin :) great to watch!

Raoul Duke
13 years ago

"I’m 6’2? and 275lbs, why dont we meet up somewhere and you can tell me face to face why you think we should let people starve to death and i’ll show you what we should do with ignorant ass****."

~ dustin

Oh the irony.

13 years ago

To judge is weak. I have never been a starving human, but if I was I would hope people were out there trying to help me not let me die in agony..... Put yourself in other peoples shoes (if they own a pair) for @#$% sakes and have some compassion.

Thanks Vlatko for this place to discuss and watch important ideas and issues.

@Cliff T
I'm 6'2" and 275lbs, why dont we meet up somewhere and you can tell me face to face why you think we should let people starve to death and i'll show you what we should do with ignorant ass****.

13 years ago


Just one thing…

I didn’t understand why you though I was a hypocrite? Was it because of what I’ve written?

Man… In my daily live I listen and deal with lot’s of people that think just exactly like @normal. And they are policy makers, economy barons, and even the directors and editors of newspapers (that’s because their bosses are the same barons I mentioned back there). Shortly: They have power to set in motion their ideas (eg: f--k the weak ones, life is for lions, not lambs).
The worst part is that I cannot avoid them whenever I want. After some years you start to lose your nerves with that kind of mind sets, and you become less tolerant with them.

Maybe if I were briefer in my first commentary you wouldn’t think that I’m a hypocrite. But try to understand my point of view and why I think like that.

13 years ago


Don’t worry with me, my friend! I'm a young Portuguese journalist, and like almost all the young Portuguese journalists, I receive the minimum wage. Only enough to survive and buy very useful books and magazines (I need them, or I would be an ignorant). So… I know what it is to be poor, because I’m poor! Impossible to be a hypocrite :)

And... My nickname is Jota :P

About the rest you write… I totally agree with you.

13 years ago

@ jata, i hope u donate every penny u don't need to charity, because if u don't you're a hypocrit.

@normal, one of the best things a society can do is give it's nerds money and say.. "follow your curiosity, see where it takes you" that kinda stuff leads to things like replicators that can make hamburgers out of the atoms in the air....

i hope humanity populates many worlds around many stars someday. and can feed all of them comfortably. Of course getting there is going to require lots of science and engineering.

13 years ago

this documentary is current and accurate, and pretty good too.

13 years ago

Given that space exploration has uses, the argument that the money could've been used elsewhere is only valid if we never used money for anything useless.

13 years ago

Ps: And speaking about the documentary, I only saw the first two episodes, and they were terrific. I'm eager to watch the rest :) Another 5 stars doc.

13 years ago

@Cliff T

“Feeding the starving populace will make things worse for us on Earth because it would mean more people getting to adulthood. It’s a horrible point of view, but a realistic one.”

So… in your point of view, if you see near you a child dying of hungry, or BEGGING YOU SOME FOOD IN HIS KNEES, you won’t give him any food because that “would mean more people getting to adulthood”? Just… let him dye, and f--k him, that’s it? Does that mean that if one day I see your son or daughter dying, SLOWLY and PAINFULLY, of hungry and thirst, I must not give them what they need to survive because that “would mean more people getting to adulthood”?

Who are you, or anybody else, to decide who must die or survive? GOD? JESUS? HITLER? POL POTS? Why don’t you kill yourself to “clean” room to a talented (full of potential), but hungry child, in Africa, to grow up and live? Wouldn’t that be a fair trade? Or do you think you are so special to survive, and others not? By your “point of view”, that would be very realistic, or not? It’s a fair trade!

Your point of view it’s the typical white/occidental point of view, and a point of view of someone arrogant and lazy enough to not want to see with his eyes the skinny body of someone dying of hungry, or not want to ear the scream of a malnourish baby, because his mother doesn’t have milk to give him.

Bad luck you say? NO! That happens because someone else, around the corner, or in another country, is getting morbidly fat, eating more that he/she can afford. Meanwhile… you sit in your sofa, turn on your tv and see… SKY TV, with a big smile in your face, imaging the world is full of numbers.

Grow up! People are not numbers… they are alive… like you are. They breed air, dream, cry, feel fear and have hopes and expectations. There’s plenty of room to everybody. In Earth, Moon, Mars, in a Space Station near our planet, wherever you want, with all the food and water you can imagine. That doesn’t happen because SOME people just want to have MORE, LOT’S OF MORE, than they need or can have, even IF others have to die and suffer because of that.

My friend, to be selfish is not a point of view. AND… don’t use the word POPULACE… it sounds too much… ARROGANT!

Science should be use to give a decent live to everybody, to enlight human people about the Universe, about nature, to discover what’s hidden from us… not to give SKY TV to some dumb people while others starve like filthy animals.

Be human… be honest to humankind and science @Cliff T.

13 years ago

For every $1 spent on the Apollo program, $14 were returned to the US economy.

So much of what you take for granted depends on space exploration.

Space exploration is an investment, and it's consistently paid off.

13 years ago

Sorry. I should have typed, "More education and contraception is a noble idea but letting poor people who are already alive starve to death is not an option." Not "More money and contraception..."

- Blaxparx -

13 years ago

@Cliff T,

Your are right. That is a horrible point of view. And disgusting. I hope you will think hard about what you said.
"Feeding the starving populace will make things worse for us on Earth..." So just because they are 'poor' they are not us?
More money and contraception is a noble idea but letting poor people who are already alive starve to death is not an option. Maybe you'd like to volunteer to quit eating? Just think how many contraceptives we could buy with that money.

- Blaxparx -

Cliff T
13 years ago


Space exploration has been more than just looking at distant planets. Without it you wouldn't be able to use your mobile phone because there are no satellites. In fact, just ponder about the world without the use of satellites today. Internet would be much more expensive (Assuming it would even get invented), no sat nav, no Sky TV, no global mapping, no global weather monitoring system. The list is huge.

You may think it is a waste but it's money well spent in my mind. Feeding the starving populace will make things worse for us on Earth because it would mean more people getting to adulthood. It's a horrible point of view, but a realistic one. Instead, more money should be spent on better education and contraception.

13 years ago


fair argument.

13 years ago

While all this knowledge is fantastic, i still believe that the trillions of dollars that we have spent on exploring it could have been spent on better projects.
Like feeding the starving humans on our own planet.
Or on how to save our own planet from the constant destruction placed on it by all of us everyday.

Cliff T
13 years ago

Might have to watch these. Space always has interested me profoundly

13 years ago

I sat and thought about all the stuff out in space that could kill us the other day, scared the s*** outta me.