Episode 8 Dark Future of the Sun

We are in the midst of the greatest era of space discovery. Twenty first century spacecraft and sophisticated imaging technology are venturing into uncharted territory every day and much of the extraordinary phenomena are happening right in our own cosmic backyard. This series features computer-generated imagery and computer graphics of astronomical objects in the universe plus interviews with experts who study in the fields of cosmology, astronomy, and astrophysics.
Season 5
Episode 1 7 Wonders of the Solar System – A close up look at some of the most astonishing wonders of the Solar System, such as the geysers of Enceladus; Saturn’s amazing rings; Jupiter’s Great Red Spot; the heights of Olympus Mons on Mars; and Earth. We are in the midst of the greatest era of space discovery. 21st century spacecraft and sophisticated imaging technology are venturing into un-chartered territory every day–and much of the extraordinary phenomenon is happing right in our own cosmic backyard. Take an exhilarating, unprecedented exploration of the seven most amazing wonders of our solar system. Our virtual tour begins with a trip to Enceladus, one of Saturn’s outer moons, where icy geysers spout from its surface. Then venture to Saturn’s famous rings, which contain mountain ranges that rival the Alps. Next dive into the eye of the biggest storm in the solar system–Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Soar through the Asteroid Belt, containing millions of leftover rocks from the formation of the solar system. Trek up Mount Olympus, the largest volcano, located on Mars. Have a close encounter with the searing surface of the sun, and finish the journey by exploring our home planet Earth.
Episode 2 Mars: The New Evidence – A look for evidence of life on Mars which provides many clues that it now, or once had supported it; from the remains of lakes and rivers that once flowed on the surface; to the water ice frozen at the poles; to the seasonal changes in methane gases that may prove bacterial life still thrives underground. It has been fifty years since man first ventured into space, but the greatest secrets are yet to be revealed. Mars is the planet in our solar system most similar to Earth. In the last few years, the Red Planet has yielded up many new clues that life may have once existed there .. and may even exist there today. There is now proof that water once flowed on the surface, that Mars once had lakes, and that the frozen poles are mostly water. Mars has snow, an aurora, and lightning generated by dust storms. Most intriguing of all are the seasonal plumes of methane that just may point to bacteria living below the surface.
Episode 3 Magnetic Storm – It bursts from the sun with the power of ten thousand nuclear weapons, and when it hits our planet, it could create the largest disaster in recorded history. A magnetic storm from the sun could wipe out electrical power, television, radio, military communication, and nearly every piece of electronics in the Northern Hemisphere. Learn about a planet wide “hurricane” of magnetic forces called “Solar Katrina” that could permanently scramble all 21st Century technology. What causes this magnetic superstorm and why is it so powerful? And is there anything we can do to prevent the Magnetic Storm?
Episode 4 Time Travel – A look at time travel; how it could one day become reality; how Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity claims it is possible, and the probable results of traveling to the future and the mind-boggling consequences of traveling to the past.
Episode 5 Secrets of the Space Probes – A look at space probes, what they have done and found for us in space, and what they might do in the future, such as searching for Earth like planets and for extraterrestrial life. They’ve discovered water on other planets, and snatched the actual building blocks of life from a comet’s tail. But can space probes find a new Earth…and even make contact with alien life? In the 21st century, space probes are photographing, drilling and even sniffing new worlds in the quest for life, and scanning thousands of distant suns trying to detect Earth-like planets. It’s only a matter of time before space probes unlock the secrets to extra-terrestrial life and the universe itself.
Episode 6 Asteroid Attack – A look at asteroids and the impact they have or had on life now and before. Also, what spacecraft can tell us about them, what they can do to civilization, and the possibility of living on one.
Episode 7 Total Eclipse – A look at the movements of the Earth, the Sun and the Moon during solar and lunar eclipses; how humans, even if not alone in the universe, may nevertheless be the only intelligent creatures to witness solar eclipses; and how astronomers discover planets in other star systems that partially eclipse or transit their stars. Once they were dreaded and thought to be dragons eating the sun, but modern science has dispelled mythology and we now look forward to total Solar Eclipses as one of the most spectacular phenomena in the heavens. Explore the complex movements of Earth, Moon and Sun that produce these unusual events and hear details why we may be the only intelligent beings in the known Universe to witness eclipses like we see on Earth. Man-made eclipses also figure into the science in the form of instruments called “coronagraphs.” They blot out the sun and reveal its corona, uncovering secrets which, while enlightening, also warn of a disaster that could make our advanced technology crash and burn. Finally, travel into deep space, where the tiny eclipses caused by planets circling distant stars is now beginning to reveal hundreds more stars where “exoplanets” exist, perhaps even those in habitable zones like the Earth.
Episode 8 Dark Future of the Sun – A look at the future of the Sun and what might happen to it in five billion years when it uses up its hydrogen fuel and swells into a massive red giant star (consuming our planet and killing all life, including humans if any are still on it) and then shrinking into a white dwarf. Our Sun has served Earth well for almost five billion years. It’s bathed us with heat and energy. But like humans, our home star is mortal. In five billion years, it will stop nurturing its planetary offspring. The aging star will bloat out beyond the orbit of our planet incinerating all living things, including humans if we’re still around.