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The Cosmos: A Beginner's Guide

2007, Science  -   17 Comments

The Cosmos: A Beginner's GuideThe Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide-a fully-funded Open University production for BBC TWO - tackles the big questions about the Solar System, space and the Universe in general: How were they made? Are we alone? What’s the furthest thing we can see? Is there another Earth somewhere?

Presented by Adam-Hart-Davis, with reports from geologist and planetary scientist Dr Janet Sumner of The Open University, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, astronomer and engineer, The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide is a fascinating and indispensable six-part guide to the Cosmos and the amazing new ways it is being explored. Will we ever discover what happened in the very instant of creation – the Big Bang? How close are we to finding extraterrestrial life in our own Solar System? How do you make a star?

In these six programmes, made by Screenhouse Productions for The Open University, Adam Hart-Davis and his team visit the spectacular places where the exploration of the Universe is being pushed to new limits. They include the world’s biggest experiment, recreating conditions that existed thousandths of a second after the Big Bang; the place most likely to pick up alien communication; and the biggest telescope in the world, high in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Navigating the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, the series uncovers exactly what we know about the history of our Universe. From the emergence of the first elements to the creation of life on Earth and the possibilities of finding other intelligent life forms somewhere in space, The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide explains the mysteries of the planets, stars and galaxies.

1. Life in the Cosmos. Adam Hart-Davis joins alien hunters at a huge new telescope in California dedicated to receiving the first message from intelligent beings. Janet Sumner investigates a new way to detect life on Mars, using a probe made with living material from Earth.

2. Building the Universe. Adam Hart-Davis is 100 metres underground with the team hoping to blast their way back to the Big Bang in the world's largest experiment. They are on the trail of tiny particles not seen since space and time began.

3. Seeing the Universe. Adam Hart-Davis travels across Chile's Atacama desert to the world's largest telescope to discover how this massive machine is revealing incredible new sights from across the universe.

4. Space Exploration. Adam Hart-Davis investigates the dream mission to put men on Mars. It will take thirty years, but methods for exploring the red planet are already being tested in the Utah desert.

5. Violent Universe. Space is a dangerous place, as Adam Hart-Davis discovers when he joins the team in Leicester hunting for the biggest bangs since the Big Bang. He finds that these vast explosions were discovered accidentally by spy satellites.

6. Other Worlds. Is there another Earth? Adam Hart-Davis is on the summit of La Palma in the Canary Islands, searching for planets around other suns.

Ratings: 7.64/10from 11 users.

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17 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Deborah Macaoidh Selim

    They sent earth microbes into space? That might not turn out so well for the aliens if you consider all the sci-fi stories, lol. I'm mostly kidding, but you never know!

    1. Pysmythe

      Kind of a reverse 'Andromeda Strain'.

  2. jbriggs_87

    i wonder if the scientific will ever see the absolute truth:
    time and space do not exist independently from consciousness
    there is only consciousness, and time and space are a framework that resides within it. ALL is mind. Try to keep up science

    1. Myth

      not sure if troll or not.

  3. terryrret

    I have enjoyed this series. Watched all of it. Well done and informative.

  4. David

    Just about to sit down and watch this. I just finished reading the book (while on holiday) It was very readable and surprisingly I learned some interesting things I didn't know already. Get the book! :)

  5. Laurie Robillard

    from Laurie
    What could have existed before the big bang? (1) Although based only on theoretical ideas, the multiverse is postulated to exist before the big bang. While it is difficult to imagine any direct evidence for anything outside our universe, good theoretical reasons support a belief in such an overarching entity. With its hills and dales of quantum mechanical energy (recall the energy topographical map), the multiverse appears to be (and to have always been) an endless background of energy for whatever else exists. (2) Since there is no reason to imagine that ours is the first bubble universe, a multitude of other bubble universes as well as multitudes of failed universes might have existed as well. Some theories of inflation lead naturally to a continuous creation of universes. (3) Some believers would add God to the list, and Latter-day Saints might also add the spirits of mankind. (4) Is it conceivable that dimensions, natural laws, mass-energy, and wave functions existed as well? How we wish we understood our magnificent multiverse more thoroughly! (Readers should note that our present knowledge and understanding of many of these points are rather primitive, and that these possibilities are only suggestions meant to stir thinking.)

    1. Vlatko

      @Laurie Robillard,

      80% of your comments are copied/pasted (slightly modified) from somewhere else.

  6. Elasticity

    Before we Colonize the galaxy we must first get a grip and masterize the language (JOKE). The Universe is too big, I still remember when the universe just consisted of our Galaxy, then they expanded it to many nearby galaxy;s and now it's all over the place, they've let it spread it everywhere! possibly even unto other Dimensions.. is it infinite? can anyone actually point to the spot where it all started? and the fluff they talk about the great inflation that happened in the femto-seconds after the big bang.. come on guys.. You are making that s*** up.

  7. Achems Razor

    Won't watch all of it myself, to me same old, same old.

  8. ez2b12

    Not done watching all of it yet but, so far i don't care for it. Don't really know why its something about the way the are presenting the facts or thier lack of detail but something is not clicking. Maybe its just me, I usually love cosmology and the BBC does great stuff. Can't really put my finger on it but I just don't like this one.

  9. doberman

    feels outdated

  10. Eric

    Very interesting doc., i really like everything about space travel, cosmos, physics etc. so thanks to vlatko, again :)

    In my opinion, there is only one way to colonize our galaxy and its a very long term project. First, we need to completly masterize human cloning, second, launch spaceship with machine capable of cloning human beings few years before it reach his destination. The spaceship will need a good source of energy with failure proof systems and robot who can repair technical problems during this epic trip.
    But at one point, the spaceship will be to itself. And we should'nt be able to know the end of the story :)

    Just for fun, anyone with better ideas?

    1. ThisDarkChestOfWonders

      You just described the plot of the Jesus Incident written by Frank Herbert. I strongly recommend it and its 2 sequels. And if u don't know who Frank Herbert is, scratch the jesus incident and read his 6 Dune books immediately. And do not read his son's horrible attempt at finishing the chronicles, you will lose all faith in science fiction ever being good again. Lol, but the plot in the jesus incident is pretty much what you described. Except he came up with it in the 60's and wrote 3 novels about it.

  11. Achems Razor

    Starting to watch. Never miss anything concerning cosmology.

  12. esmuziq

    again this serie ?

  13. Benjinator3000

    First to comment once more!! That's right little Boo Doo!!!