The Universe: Season 1

The sky and outer space have fascinated man for centuries and the History Channel’s series The Universe is the story of man’s study of the cosmos from his earliest attempts to map and understand the heavens through modern day scientific studies, advances, and theories.

A mix of historical footage, modern space imaging, and conceptual computer graphics presented in high-definition, the visual component of this production is absolutely breathtaking. Each of the 14 44-minute episodes begins with a general introduction of subjects ranging from the sun to individual planets, alien galaxies, the search for extra-terrestrial life, and scientific theories like the Big Bang.

Each topic is then broken down into a series of segments that detail specific ideas, theories, or components integral to the understanding of the main topic as well as historical material, current studies and theories, and projections of potential future events and scientific advances.

1. Secrets of the Sun. How the sun was formed and how it could potentially die; its physical composition; how it makes energy; and the nature of solar eclipses, solar flares and sunspot activity.

2. Mars: The Red Planet. The planet most similar to Earth in our solar system; an examination of Olympus Mons the largest volcano in the solar system; how NASA probes search for evidence of past life on the red planet, and what that life might have looked like.

3. End of the Earth. The end of the world scenarios involving killer asteroid or comet impact events, solar flare and gamma-ray bursts, and the plans that scientists have to potentially save the Earth from an interstellar disaster.

4. Jupiter: The Giant Planet. The solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter; its formation and composition and its mini-solar system of over 60 moons – some of which may have the potential to support extraterrestrial life.

5. The Moon. The formation of the Moon; how it played a role in the evolution of life on Earth; and the future plans of NASA to establish a permanent base on the surface.

6. Spaceship Earth. The planet Earth; how it was born out of a chaotic shooting gallery during the formation of the solar system; how life could have began here; and what could ultimately cause its destruction.

7. Mercury and Venus: The Inner Planets. The two most hostile planets in the solar system – Mercury and Venus; one gouged with craters, the other a greenhouse cauldron of toxic gases and acid rain; both scorched by their close proximity to the sun. Scientists theorize about what sort of life could evolve on these alien worlds.

8. Saturn: Lord of the Rings. The planet Saturn and its fascinating rings; how they may have been created; how the latest probes have answered questions and revealed new mysteries about the planet, and how Saturn’s moon Titan may hold more resources of petroleum than Earth will ever need.

9. Alien Galaxies. The space through the amazing images of the Hubble Space Telescope; and a look at the formation of our galaxy and how it is just one of hundreds of billions in the universe.

10. Life and Death of a Star. How gravity causes hydrogen gas to coalesce under friction and pressure to ignite in a flash of nuclear fusion, the energy and glow lasting billions of years, and then the ultimate demise in the largest and most colorful explosions in the cosmos.

11. The Outer Planets. the solar system’s most distant worlds – Uranus, a gas giant with the most extreme axial tilt of any known planet and its wildly orbiting moon Triton; its near-twin Neptune and its moons; and finally, distant Pluto which orbits the sun every 248 years.

12. Most Dangerous Places. The most dangerous objects known in space – all consuming black holes, deadly gamma-ray bursts, powerful magnetars, and galactic collisions.

13. Search for E.T. Possible extraterrestrial life in the universe; the mission of organizations like SETI to find it, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life existing right in our own solar system on the moons of Europa and Titan.

14. Beyond the Big Bang. Back in time billions and billions of years to the origin of the Big Bang. Leading physicists and historians theorize what happened before the bang occurred, how the physical nature of the universe unfolded as energy became matter forming stars and galaxies, and how the universe continues to expand outward at an ever-accelerating rate.

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  • http://twitter.com/murphycann Christina Ann Murphy

    How do I access other episodes?

  • http://hyungnam.blogspot.kr/2013/06/web-design-tools-avatar-signature_63.html Hyungnam Gu

    Historical research suggests the panic was far less widespread than newspapers had indicated at the time. “[T]he panic and mass hysteria so readily associated with ‘The War of the Worlds’ did not occur on anything approaching a nationwide dimension”, American University media historian W. Joseph Campbell wrote in 2003. He quotes Robert E. Bartholomew, an authority on mass panic outbreaks, as having said that “there is a growing consensus among sociologists that the extent of the panic … was greatly exaggerated”.[28]

    This position is supported by contemporary accounts. “In the first place, most people didn’t hear [the show]”, said Frank Stanton, later president of CBS.[3] Of the nearly 2,000 letters mailed to Welles and the Federal Communications Commissionafter “The War of the Worlds”, currently held by the University of Michigan and the National Archives and Records Administration, roughly 27% came from frightened listeners or people who witnessed any panic. After analyzing those letters, A. Brad Schwartz concluded that although the broadcast briefly misled a significant portion of its audience, very few of those listeners fled their homes or otherwise panicked. The total number of protest letters sent to Welles and the FCC is also low in comparison with other controversial radio broadcasts of the period, further suggesting the audience was small and the fright severely limited.

    Five thousand households were telephoned that night in a survey conducted by the C. E. Hooper company, the main radio ratings service at the time. Only two percent of the respondents said they were listening to the radio play, and no one stated they were listening to a news broadcast. Ninety eight percent of respondents said they were listening to other radio programming — The Chase and Sanborn Hour was long the most popular program in that timeslot — or not listening to the radio at all. Further shrinking the potential audience, some CBS network affiliates, including some in large markets likeBoston’s WEEI, had pre-empted The Mercury Theatre on the Air in favor of local commercial programming.[3]

    Ben Gross, radio editor for the New York Daily News, wrote in his 1954 memoir that the streets were nearly deserted as he made his way to the studio for the end of the program.[3] Producer John Houseman reported that the Mercury Theatre staff was surprised when they were finally released from the CBS studios to find life going on as usual in the streets of New York.[2]:404 The writer of a letter the Washington Post published later likewise recalled no panicked mobs in the capital’s downtown streets at the time. “The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast”, media historians Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow wrote in Slate on its 75th anniversary in 2013; “Almost nobody was fooled”.[3]

    According to Campbell, the most common response said to indicate a panic was calling the local newspaper or police to confirm the story or seek additional information. This, he writes, is an indicator that people were not generally panicking or hysterical. “The call volume perhaps is best understood as an altogether rational response …”[28] Some New Jersey media and law enforcement agencies received up to 40 percent more telephone calls than normal during the broadcast.