Search for Alien Worlds

Watch Search for Alien Worlds

  • 2015
  • 2 Seasons

Discoveries of planets and solar systems beyond our own has reached a fever pitch, thanks to powerful new observations from telescopes on the ground and in space.

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Seasons
The Trappist Planet Discovery
12. The Trappist Planet Discovery
August 1, 2017
The Pale Red Dot campaign was launched to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and astronomers detected a planet. The planet, Proxima b, falls within the habitable zone of its host star. It is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.
Proxima B: The Pale Red Dot
11. Proxima B: The Pale Red Dot
October 5, 2016
The Pale Red Dot campaign was launched to find a planet orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri. Incredibly, the quest succeeded and astronomers detected a planet. The planet, Proxima b, falls within the habitable zone of its host star. It is by far the closest potential abode for alien life.
Earth Sized Planet Discoveries
10. Earth Sized Planet Discoveries
May 15, 2016
On the hunt for exoplanets, an international team of astronomers is probing a class of nearby stars known as ultracool dwarf stars. These are very dim stars, much cooler and redder than the Sun, and not much larger than Jupiter. But they are quite common, accounting for around 15% of the stars near to the Sun.
20 Years of Planet Hunting
9. 20 Years of Planet Hunting
May 15, 2016
State of the art instrumentation is at the forefront of a blizzard of exoplanet discoveries in the last two decades. These observations are feeding an enormous expansion in knowledge about the diverse range of exoplanets in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Polarizing Planets
8. Polarizing Planets
February 15, 2015
A new type of exoplanet finder distinguishes the polarized light of planet atmospheres from the light of their parent stars. It offers an ingenious new way to tease out the light of a planet with the overwhelming brightness of a star. Adapted from EsoCast
Interstellar Space Flight: Daunting Facts
7. Interstellar Space Flight: Daunting Facts
February 15, 2015
We can build powerful rockets able to carry people and machines into orbit, or even vault them to the moon. But our fastest spacecraft don't hold a candle to the distances that define Interstellar Flight. So what's on the drawing boards?
Finding Earth's Twin
5. Finding Earth's Twin
February 15, 2015
Among the methods astronomers have used to discover extra solar planets, the most successful is a technique called transit photometry. It measures changes in a star's brightness caused when a planet crosses in front of its star along our line of sight.
Super Earth Discoveries
4. Super Earth Discoveries
February 15, 2015
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile found out that 40 per cent of red dwarf stars are orbited by super-Earths. Red Dwarfs are by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way galaxy, so there might be tens of billions of such planets in our galaxy alone
Stunning New View of Planetary Genesis
3. Stunning New View of Planetary Genesis
February 15, 2015
A new image from ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, reveals extraordinarily fine detail that has never been seen before in the planet-forming disc around a young star.
Dust Traps and Planet Factories
2. Dust Traps and Planet Factories
February 15, 2015
Astronomers now know that planets around other stars are plentiful. But they do not fully understand how they form and there are many aspects of the formation of comets, planets and other rocky bodies that remain a mystery.
Glimpsing the Birth of the Solar System
1. Glimpsing the Birth of the Solar System
February 15, 2015
This video explores the famous solar system in the making, Beta Pictoris. Around this young hot star, a vast disk of dust and gas is now forming comets, asteroids, and planets.
Description

Discoveries of planets and solar systems beyond our own has reached a fever pitch, thanks to powerful new observations from telescopes on the ground and in space.

  • Premiere Date
    February 15, 2015