Watch How the Universe Works

This documentary series uses computer-generated imagery to take a look at the mysterious inner workings of space, the universe, and everything. The series aired on the Discovery Channel in 2010, and narrators for the series included Mike Rowe and Erik Todd Dellums.

Tuesday 7:00 PM et/pt on Discovery Channel
7 Seasons, 72 Episodes
April 25, 2010
Documentary & Biography
Cast: Phil Plait, Michelle Thaller, Mike Rowe, Lawrence Krauss
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How the Universe Works Full Episode Guide

  • For twenty years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed the strange secrets of Saturn until it vaporized in its atmosphere in a blaze of glory. But today its legacy lives on, as fresh data from the probe helps scientists make brand-new discoveries.

  • New discoveries have revealed thousands of exoplanets beyond our solar system, and some resemble earth enough that one could be a new home for humanity. But even with cutting-edge technology, finding the perfect one is the scientific challenge of the age.

  • The latest discoveries suggest that we might be on the verge of discovering life beyond our planet, and scientists are investigating if earth's life began elsewhere in the universe, and whether we need to evolve to know for sure.

  • Dark matter and dark energy are locked in an epic battle for control of the cosmos, and the winner with determine the fate of the universe.

  • Astronomers examine new discoveries regarding the Big Bang theory.

  • Nebulas are the strange structures of cosmic gas and dust where stars are born and die, and new discoveries reveal the secrets of these mysterious places.

  • Black holes aren't the violent monsters we think they are, and new discoveries reveal that they might have been essential to creating stars, giving light, and building the universe itself.

  • Supernovas are the violent death of giant stars, and new discoveries reveal that these cataclysmic events create the elements that are essential to all life in the universe.

  • Neutron stars are strange and violent phenomena that defy the laws of physics, and new discoveries reveal that these bizarre nightmares are far more deadly than we ever thought, with the power to destroy planets and even other stars.

  • Spacetime is the secret structure that controls our universe, and this strange four-dimensional substance controls time, light, and energy; it will also determine how our universe will end.

  • Scientists are using cutting-edge technology to stop an asteroid apocalypse, and for the first time, mankind is closer than ever to keeping Earth safe from these killer space rocks.

  • Our solar system is home to hundreds of strange, tiny worlds called dwarf planets, and new discoveries reveal the secrets of these mysterious places.

  • Quasars are the brightest and most powerful objects in our universe, and though they have shaped the cosmos, they might ultimately destroy everything that exists.

  • Mercury is a deadly world, facing attacks from the Sun, comets, and other planets; even though it's the smallest planet in the solar system, Mercury has a dangerous secret that may one day threaten life on Earth.

  • Uranus and Neptune are mysterious, icy worlds at the edge of the solar system, and new discoveries reveal that these strange planets might have helped start life on Earth.

  • The Milky Way is dying, and experts are investigating what's killing it.

  • Our solar system hides a dark and violent past, and new discoveries reveal that Earth and the planets were formed from the destruction of strange alien worlds that came before us.

  • Planets that orbit two suns instead of one might be deadly hell worlds, but new discoveries reveal that sci-fi star systems with binary stars might be optimal places for alien life.

  • Cosmologists say there are black holes throughout the Universe, but they've never seen one and it's almost impossible to study them directly.

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