The Universe

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Tuesday 9:00 PM on The History Channel Premiered May 29, 2007 In Season

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  • When Space Changed History

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 17 -

    It may seem like seem like science fiction, but the cosmos isn't just something way out there. Many times in human history, objects or forces from space have changed the course of life on earth. Many believe an asteroid played a role in the fall of the Roman Empire... and millennia earlier another asteroid might have been the "fire and brimstone" that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.moreless
  • Ride the Comet

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 16 -

    Hitch a ride on the journey of a comet as it roars from the cold, dark outer reaches of the solar system to the fiery surface of the Sun. Visit the surface of each planet, from the mountains on the moons of Neptune, to the caves beneath Mars, to a solar tsunami. You'll also tour the lesser-known "neighborhoods" of the Solar System, like The Oort Cloud and planet-sized asteroids like Eris and Ceres. Witness the punishing extremes experienced by a massive, grit-covered snow-ball as it travels 300 million miles from the edge of the Solar System to the skies above earth.moreless
  • Microscopic Universe

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 14 - 6/3/12

    Scientists attempt to understand the subatomic world.

  • Deep Freeze

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 11 - 5/20/12

    The coldest places in the solar system and beyond are examined, including the possibility of a "Star Wars"-style ice planet.

  • Our Place in the Milky Way

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 10 - 5/13/12

    Scientists discuss recent discoveries about our own corner of the galaxy: new andwandering planets, the "local fluff", the "local bubble" and some of the things that make our neighborhood unique.

  • How Big, How Far, How Fast

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 6 - 4/29/12

    Astronomical numbers too huge to becomprehended bythe average person are made relatable through analogy.

  • Alien Sounds

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 9 - 12/14/12

    What does the Universe sound like? From the sweep of a pulsar, to the deafening roar of our boiling sun this episode explores the undiscovered soundscapes of the solar system, the galaxy, and the entire cosmos. And, is it true that in space nobody can hear you scream?!? Our scientists reveal that there are places in the Universe that prove this sci-fi statement wrong.moreless
  • God and the Universe

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 7 - 12/20/11

    Since the dawn of civilization, humans have wondered who or what created the universe. Religion offers a spiritual answer, but do the latest discoveries in physics show evidence of a transcendent intelligence, or simply that the laws of physics by themselves could have led to the universe in which we live? This episode embarks on a mind-bending scientific search for God, asking physicists and theologians if the seemingly miraculous way the universe has been calibrated to support life is evidence of a creator...whether string theory will eventually be able to rule out the existence of God...why Stephen Hawking says the universe could have been created spontaneously...and how an advanced civilization in another universe could have conceivably created our own.

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  • UFO: The Real Deal

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 7 - 12/13/11

    The technology required for travel between stars is examined.

  • Worst Days on Planet Earth

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 5 - 11/29/11

    Earth may seem like the most hospitable planet in the solar system. But look again. Startling new discoveries reveal the blue planet has been plagued by more chaos and destruction than scientists once imagined. Stand on the Earth billions of years ago as a primitive planet slams into it. Shiver as our entire globe is frozen over like a gigantic snowball. Feel the heat as mammoth volcanoes scorch the landscape and darken the sky. From a cosmic gamma ray burst frying away the ozone layer to an Everest-size asteroid slamming into the ocean, we'll reveal new information about how these unparalleled events drove life to the brink of total extinction. Out of this continuous devastation, how has our planet--and life--got to where it is today? Are the worst days behind us--or lurking in the distant future?

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  • Crash Landing on Mars

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 4 - 11/22/11

    What might happen if the first manned mission to Mars crashes hundreds of miles from the rocket that would take them back home? Could they survive the crash, and travel across the brutal Martian surface to their home ship? We'll show what the astronauts would have to do to survive dust storms and space radiation, while extracting vital resources like water from the Martian soil itself. It's a dramatic vision of the very near future, where survival can depend on pre-industrial technology and human ingenuity.

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  • How the Solar System was Made

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 3 - 11/8/11

    At 4.6 billion years old, the Solar System is our solid, secure home in the Universe. But how did it come to be? In this episode we trace the system's birth from a thin cloud of dust and gas. Shocked by a nearby supernova, the pull of gravity and natural rotation spun it into a flat disc from which the Sun and planets coalesced. It all happened in the space of 700 million years, during which the planets jockeyed for position, dodging the brutal bombardment of deadly asteroids and setting into the neat, stable system that we now realize might be a rarity in the universe.

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  • Nemesis: The Sun's Evil Twin

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 2 -

    Could there be a monstrous, undiscovered star orbiting our own Sun? Could it be scattering killer comets throughout our Solar System like clockwork every 26 million years? New scientific surveys are probing the edges of our Solar System--a realm populated by giant worlds and mysterious planetoid--hunting for Nemesis, the Sun's purported evil twin. We may be on the verge of discovering this ultimate death star, suspected of causing every mass extinction in Earth's history. We employ everyday experiences to explain what Nemesis is and why it's been so hard to find. Experts start a wildfire on a dry California hillside, race a NASCAR around an oval track, and juggle fire, all in the effort to present how Nemesis works, and why life on Earth may depend on its discovery.moreless
  • Catastrophes that Changed the Planets

    Full Episode

    S 6 : Ep 1 - 10/25/11

    The planets of our solar system have experienced epic catastrophes throughout their long history, both raining down from outside and bubbling up from within. We'll voyage back in time to investigate the violent events that profoundly shaped the planets, including earth itself. We'll witness stunning revelations about what transformed Mars into a barren, hostile desert...The disaster that changed Venus from temperate to hellish...The impact that blew away Mercury's mantle, turning it into a planetary core...A colossal disturbance that rearranged the orbits of the gas giants...Titanic impacts on Jupiter...And how a lost moon may finally explain Saturn's rings.

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  • Dark Future of the Sun

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 8 - 9/23/10

    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.moreless
  • Total Eclipse

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 7 - 9/16/10

    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.moreless
  • Astroid Attack

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 6 - 9/2/10

    What are the latest discoveries in the deadly world of asteroids? Will a Japanese spacecraft become the first to bring an asteroid sample back home? What would happen to America's east coast if the impact that helped form Chesapeake Bay 35 million years ago struck today? And why did President Obama choose an asteroid as the destination for the next manned mission into space? Learning about these huge space rocks isn't just about science, it's about survival.moreless
  • Secrets of the Space Probes

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 5 - 8/26/10

    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.moreless
  • Time Travel

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 4 - 8/19/10

    One of the universe's most enduring mysteries is time travel. Discover why time travel into the future is unavoidable in the Einsteinian world of relativity. As for the past the laws of physics don't tell us it's impossible, but the bizarre consequences of going into the past and altering the future make for mind-bending science. Finally go for the future by traveling to the nearest star, 4.3 light years away in only 45 days.moreless
  • Magnetic Storm

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 3 - 8/12/10

    It bursts from the sun with the power of 10,000 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 and nearly every piece of electronics in the Northern Hemisphere. It's a planet-wide hurricane of magnetic forces that scramble all 21st Century technology, possibly for good. What causes this magnetic superstorm? Why is magnetism so powerful and yet so poorly understood? And is there anything we can do to prevent the Magnetic Storm?moreless
  • Mars: The New Evidence

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 2 - 8/5/10

    In the last few years, Mars has shown 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 and that the frozen poles are mostly water, not carbon dioxide as previously thought. Mars has snow, an auror 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.moreless
  • 7 Wonders of the Solar System

    Full Episode

    S 5 : Ep 1 - 7/29/10

    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.moreless
  • Extreme Energy

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 12 - 11/10/09

    Ours is a universe of energy, from powerful jets ejected from black holes to the raw nuclear fury of our Sun. But, the total amount of energy in the universe maintains perfect equilibrium--no more can be added or taken away.moreless
  • Science Fiction, Science Fact

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 11 - 11/3/09

    The world of tomorrow is quickly becoming the futuristic world of today. While you may not be "beaming" to your next appointment, researchers are preparing for the first tests of a transporter. And while scientists have long mocked Hollywood's visions of warp speed a new generation of physicists continues to rewrite the fundamental rules of the universe. Is there a way around the cosmic speed limit?moreless
  • Pulsars & Quasars

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 10 - 10/27/09

    Pulsars are tiny, only a few miles across but spin as fast as a blender and sweep the sky with beacons of radiation that make them appear to flash on and off. They have unbelievably strong magnetic fields, are more accurate than atomic clocks and they can even tell aliens just where to find the Earth! Quasars are at the other end of the spectrum. Quasars are huge cores of galaxies with black holes that are called "monsters" and which spit lobes of radiating gas called "DRAGNs." Quasars are so far away, we see them as they were only in the distant past--meaning they existed only in the early universe, when they may have played a major role in the creation of the galaxies themselves.moreless
  • Liquid Universe

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 9 - 10/20/09

    On alien planets it rains from the sky as scalding iron. On distant moons, even at hundreds of degrees below zero, they slosh around in lakes of methane. They can cover planets in oceans of electrified hydrogen metal. They churn in dead stars and even our planet. They're so rare in the universe, they almost don't exist, but these are the liquids of our Liquid Universe.moreless
  • Space Wars

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 8 - 10/6/09

    So far no country has put weapons into space but they can shoot down satellites. If weapons do become part of space, how will they work, how effective will they be, and what damage could they do? From ground-based lasers to telephone pole sized rods hurtling from space at two miles per second to the far out weapons of the distant future.moreless
  • The Search for Cosmic Clusters

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 7 - 9/29/09

    They are the one-stop-shopping places for learning all about the nature and variety of stars in the Universe. They're unique, because in clusters, all the stars were born at about the same time, from the same material and all are at the same approximate distance from Earth. This means we can be sure that any differences among them are due to their true natures and not distorted by different distances from Earth and other factors.moreless
  • 10 Ways to Destroy the Earth

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 6 - 9/22/09

    Experts cook up ways you could destroy the Earth, including swallowing it with a black hole, blowing it up with anti-matter, hurling it into the Sun, and switching off gravity.
  • Hunt for Ringed Planets

    Full Episode

    S 4 : Ep 5 - 9/15/09

    They are breathtaking, lethal and a constant source of surprise. The stunning rings of Saturn have mesmerized countless scientists over the centuries. With particles the size of a house shooting at 53,000 miles per hour around the planet, any spacecraft passing through would meet an instant and catastrophic end. Inside the rings is like a NASCAR race--with bumping, jostling and frequent collisions that can cause a massive spin-out. Lesser known are the other planets that have rings--Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune, possibly Pluto and Mars. Even Earth has a ring. Comprised of some 200 satellites in a geosynchronous orbit, it is the only known man-made ring in the universe. But the most remarkable thing about rings is that they contain the story of the birth of our solar system, and entire distant galaxies. Rings are more than a wonder of the universe--they reveal the secrets of our own origins.moreless
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