Surviving Outer Space+
The human body thrives on the welcome confines of Earth…but in space, survival becomes a tense, daily challenge. Micro-gravity's effects on daily human activity, from eating to sleep to sex, are just beginning to be understood. But these are only the start of our problems - we'll also explore how the vacuum of space and it's near-zero pressure can kill us within minutes, if not seconds. And the ultimate space executioner may be the ever-present dangers of solar radiation. How will we overcome the odds and survive space.
For ages, mankind has been obsessed with finding treasure, from mining gold and other precious metals to the allure of diamonds buried deep underground. We'll see that as our technology leads us further into space, we're discovering new frontiers - asteroids containing more metal than we've ever mined on Earth, and planets like Neptune that may have vast liquid diamond oceans. And our very definition of treasure itself will change, as we hunt for new energy sources and the most elusive and important treasure necessary for our survival - water.
Most Powerful Stars+
Our Sun is a tremendous source of energy and danger for our planet, but it has nothing on the stars that lie beyond our own tiny solar system. The biggest star known to man is a hyper red giant…yet size doesn't always equal power when we see how smaller, blue super-giants burn many times hotter. We'll explore how a star becomes even more powerful in its violent supernova death, and how the most intense place in the universe may not be a star at all…but a black hole.
Extreme Space Tech+
Humans have come to recognize Earth as an environment where we are in control. We're continually creating technologies that get bigger, faster, and make us more interconnected. In this episode of KNOWN UNIVERSE we'll explore how science is re-thinking the physics of the universe to take everything from basic household items and vehicles to our most advanced technologies here on Earth and transform them for use in space.
Biggest Cosmic Blasts+
Eruptions are not unique to our small planet - in fact, exploding is truly a universal language. Our solar system is home to an incredible amount of it - from Venus' entire surface being remade from mile-deep lava to Jupiter's moon, Io, which is the most volcanically active place we know. And we're discovering more about these explosive forces every day, in cold ice-volcanoes on Saturn's moon Enceladus, in the depths of a black hole located in the Virgo constellation, and in huge subterranean lava tubes beneath the surface of Mars, the home to the largest volcano in the solar system, the Olympus Mons.
Engineering in space represents the future of human civilization but also poses some of our greatest technical difficulties. Building in zero-G is like constructing a ship, at sea…while it's moving. We'll travel to NASA's tool lab and see the gear we need to build in this challenging environment, from high tech wrenches and hammers to the ultimate robotic handyman, Robonaut. We'll build a skyscraper on the moon and see what it takes to protect our cosmic constructions from being destroyed by particles no bigger than a pea, traveling at nearly 18,000 miles an hour. Finally we'll explore the ultimate cosmic big build, giant spinning space stations,...
We've landed on the moon, and launched probes to study planets hundreds of millions of miles away. But when it comes to space travel, we're just babes in the woods. Of the hundreds of launches we've made into space, only a handful have even left Earth's gravity. So what's the problem? Well, for one, it's a huge challenge just getting off the planet. If you want to get into space you have to fly fast and high. Find out just how tough and complicated future space travel can be on Known Universe Escaping Earth.
End of The World+
For every beginning there is an end and every end, a new beginning. This is true for humans and all life as we know it on Earth. But it's also true for everything in the Known Universe - from asteroids, comets and moons, to planets, stars…even galaxies. And this cycle of life and death is a lot bigger, and a lot more complex, than you might think. Join us for an epic tale of death and rebirth on Known Universe.
Is Anyone Out There?+
Are we alone in the vast expanse of the universe? It's a question people have been asking for thousands of years and we're closer than ever to finding the answers. In this episode of Known Universe we're on the hunt for life in the cosmos. We'll take a look at the incredible discoveries and technological advances scientists are utilizing that may force us to re-evaluate our very beliefs about where life might exist both on - and off - our home planet.
From planetary hit and runs to galactic t-bones, the universe is on a collision course. In this episode, we bring the most intense smashups in the cosmos to life. We'll start by showing the collisions that created our planet and even our moon. Then we'll see what's flying around Earth and meet the people working to protect us from the apocalypse. Finally we'll travel deep into the cosmos to witness the most violent impacts in the universe. Collisions so powerful they shake the foundations of space itself.
In this episode, we'll take you into the heart of the universe's biggest super-storms. We'll start with the staggering powers of Earth's worst weather - the heat, wind, lightning, tornados, and hurricanes that can change landscapes and lives in a heartbeat. But when we travel out into space, we'll see that Earth's weather is nothing compared to other planets; Weather like 11,000-mile-per-hour winds or storms of raining liquid methane. We'll learn how scientists can actually forecast weather in deep space and discover why we need to be on the lookout for cataclysmic space weather that could cripple all life here on Earth.
To The Extremes+
Science is all about crossing frontiers. It's what we don't know that keeps us pushing the envelope of what is technologically possible to learn more about ourselves and our place in the universe. Our hunger for knowledge is what pushed us past the sound barrier, launched us into space and put footprints on the moon. Our need to know has broken countless frontiers, but there's still more out there and crossing those could bring answers to some of our biggest questions. In this episode of Known Universe we explore the two most daunting frontiers left in science, the deep ocean and deep space. Exploring both could give us answers and insights into...
In the history of our planet, nothing has been as deadly as earthquakes and volcanoes. And no one knows when Mother Nature will unleash her fury again. But Earth isn't alone. Planets, moons, and stars are all at risk of violent upheaval. The violence unleashed on these worlds provides a frightening blueprint of what could happen closer to home. No matter how we try, there's no way to prepare for nature's cosmic fury.
Where are we in the cosmos? What connection do we have to the stars? Since humans first crawled down from the trees, we've looked up and wondered about the stars. So how did the earliest people study the heavens? What did they learn about the universe, Earth and themselves. In this episode of Known Universe we travel back through time to see how the ancients studied and used the stars. From timing hunts with the cycle of the moon, to building calendars to laying the foundations for civilization, we'll see how important the stars were to the social, intellectual and spiritual evolution of humanity. With cutting edge animations, field trips and...