Watch Deep Space Mysteries

Beacons of light traveling billions of years to reach us are bringing new insights into the nature of space and time, and the evolution of objects ranging from giant black holes to galaxies like ours.

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2 Seasons, 26 Episodes
June 1, 2015
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Deep Space Mysteries Full Episode Guide

  • The light-gathering power of the European Extremely Large Telescope will exceed that of all the professional telescopes currently operating, and its adaptive optics systems will produce images far sharper than any other telescope. These features will take us into a new era of observational astronomy, an era in which we will explore some of the most pressing questions about the Universe.

  • A re-enactment of the famous paradox known as the "infinite monkey theorem."

  • Scientists have created an important new simulation of cosmic evolution. It takes place in a virtual cube 350 million light-years squared, and spans a time period from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day.

  • Astronomy is big science. It's a vast Universe out there, and the exploration of the cosmos requires huge instruments. Here are some of the largest coming down the pike.

  • How state-of-the-art technology gives the Very Large Telescope in Chile an unequalled view of the Universe. Astronomers overcome distortions from the atmosphere and the large mirrors to get amazingly sharp images.

  • Inspired by John Milton's description of the galaxy: "A broad and ample road, whose dust is gold, and pavement stars, - as stars to thee appear seen in the galaxy, that milky way which nightly as a circling zone thou seest powder'd with stars."

  • Spectacular star-filled nights frame the telescope array of the new ALMA project, where scientists are taking on the mysteries of the cold hidden reaches of the universe. From ESO.

  • Two groups of astronomers sought to find out how quickly gravity is reining in the expansion of the universe. Instead, they found that the universe is accelerating outward.

  • In landmark observations, the MUSE instrument on ESO�۪s Very Large Telescope in Chile has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe.

  • A large international scientific collaboration has now found that the energy output of galaxies has dropped to half what it was a billion years ago. Does this mean the universe is slowly fading into obscurity?

  • What if we could see the universe as a whole? For centuries, scientists have tried to discern the large scale structure of the universe. Now, using powerful telescopes and supercomputers, they are finding that the cosmos challenges our wildest imaginings.

  • Ultra high-end supercomputer simulations show how gravity drew primitive galaxies together to form the large scale structures of our universe.

  • An international team of astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far, some 600 million years after the birth of the universe.

  • Adaptation of the ground-breaking ���Science on a Sphere�۝ production "Footprints" from NOAA and NASA. An unusual visual style and inspiring words accompany depictions of Earth and its larger cosmic environment. Additional images from ESA Hubble.

  • Astronomers have discovered the most distant quasar found to date. This brilliant beacon, powered by a black hole with a mass two billion times that of the Sun, is by far the brightest object yet discovered in the early Universe.

  • The Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope has turned up rare evidence that space-time is smooth as Einstein predicted, and has ruled out the idea that it's foamy enough to interfere with light. From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

  • Ripples in the fabric of space-time from monumental collisions between black holes, and how scientists are trying to measure them with lasers and mirrors. From LIGO and the National Science Foundation.

  • Here's the start of a journey through the incredible continuum of cosmic energy of which we are a product.

  • A new study using observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveals the first clear-cut evidence that the expanding debris of exploded stars produces some of the fastest-moving matter in the universe. This discovery is a major step toward meeting one of Fermi's primary mission goals.

  • On clear nights we can look up at the stars and marvel at the vastness of the universe. To peer much deeper into the night sky astronomers need telescopes with enormous primary mirrors. How large does modern technology allow us to build telescopes?

  • Deep historical background on the idea of building observatories in the southern hemisphere, to harvest the rich landscapes of the Milky Way and the universe beyond.

  • Supercomputer visualization shows small galaxies forming, interacting, and merging to form a Milky Way-type galaxy with spiral arms. A preview of what the new James Webb Telescope will see from NASA Astrophysics.

  • High-end computer simulations offer a vivid look at the future of our Milky Way. Collisions and mergers are central to galaxy evolution, from the earliest dwarf galaxies that formed to the familiar galaxies we see today.

  • A comprehensive study of hundreds of galaxies observed by the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a surprising pattern to galaxy evolution that extends back 8 billion years, or more than half the age of the universe.

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