Aliens

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Alien Planets Revealed
Part of the Series: NOVA
It's a golden age for planet hunters: NASA's Kepler mission has identified more than 3,500 potential planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun. Some of them, like a planet called Kepler-22b, might even be able to harbor life. How did we come upon this distant planet? Combining startling animation with input…
Seven Wonders of the Solar System
BBC
In Seven wonders of the Solar System, prepare to immerse yourself in an alien world as if you were standing there yourself. Giant ice fountains rising over 100km high; an ocean hidden beneath a frozen crust of ice; storms twice the size of Earth coloured blood red by a vortex…
Atmosphere
Part of the Series: The Planets
It is December 1971 and Soviet scientists are bracing themselves for an encounter with Mars at twenty-five thousand kilometres an hour. Mars 2 and 3 are their most advanced probes to date, and if all goes well they will steal for the Soviet Union the first ever pictures from the…
Encounters with the Alien Other
Aliens are another icon and staple of science fiction. Often depicted as hostile and representing the unknown "other" as well as our fears about ourselves, aliens have been examined (and have examined us) in a variety of stories. Journey through the portrayal of aliens in important works by Robert A.…
Destiny
Part of the Series: The Planets
A massive red sun dominates the sky above a parched barren landscape.You could be forgiven for thinking we were on Mercury, but this is planet Earth three billion years from now. As the Sun grows to the size of a Red Giant star, its warming breath penetrates further through its…
Different Worlds
Part of the Series: The Planets
The early rocket pioneers of the inter-war years, Goddard, Korolev and Von Braun, little imagined how far their experiments would lead in a few short decades. But Mechta heralded the beginning of Man's exploration and understanding of the distant and different worlds previously glimpsed as blurred discs in the lenses…
Chasing Pluto
Part of the Series: NOVA
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft, one of the most advanced ever built, is scheduled to fly by Pluto to take the very first detailed images of the dwarf planet. After nine years and 3 billion miles, we will finally get a close look at this strange, icy…
Terra Firma
Part of the Series: The Planets
An orange glow roars from Mariner 9's booster rocket placing it in orbit around Mars. Beneath the scrutiny of its camera lens lay the largest volcano in the Solar System and canyons deep enough to swallow the Alps.The Red Planet bore the scars of violent volcanic eruptions blistering its ancient…
Dead or Alive
Part of the Series: Seven Wonders of the Solar System
The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. In Dead or Alive, Brian travels to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as…
Super-Earths or Mini-Neptunes?
Learn how a sensitive new instrument led the way in finding planets smaller than the Jupiter-sized giants that dominated the earliest exoplanetary discoveries. Halfway in size between Earth and Neptune, these worlds have uncertain properties. For clues about their nature, consider how our solar system formed.
Order Out of Chaos
Part of the Series: Seven Wonders of the Solar System
In Order Out of Chaos, Brian reveals how beauty and order in earth's cosmic backyard was formed from nothing more than a chaotic cloud of gas. Chasing tornados in Oklahoma, he explains how the same physics that creates these spinning storms shaped the young solar system. Out of this celestial…
Life
Part of the Series: The Planets
In July 1976 mankind looked in wonder at the first pictures from the surface of Mars. But photography was not the real mission of NASA's Viking probe. On the eighth day an arm extended down to the surface, and a scoop scratched at a small patch of red soil. Just…