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A Brief History of Time - Audio Book

This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last twenty years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas about the cosmos

Alien Contact

Many scientists believe we are on the verge of contacting alien life-forms. Join the search for extraterrestrials and hear from those convinced that life exists beyond our planet.

Alien Faces

Alien Galaxies

How the various structural types of galaxies form by merging with smaller galaxies is explained and simulated. The preliminary hints at the importance of dark matter in the process are mentioned.

Alien Moons

Alien Planets

Have planet hunters finally found proof of other Earthlike worlds? Astronomers have now discovered over two hundred alien worlds, beyond our solar system, that were unknown just a decade ago. Discover planets that rage with fiery hurricanes and bizarre planets covered by water so dense that it forms a kind of hot ice. Among these weird worlds, Earth actually seems like the oddball with the right conditions for life.

Alien Planets. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 5:25, May 1, 2011, from


In "Are We Alone?" Hawking considers one of the most important mysteries facing humankind - the possibility of alien, intelligent life. He leads us on a journey rendered in eye-popping detail, from the moons of Jupiter to a galaxy maybe not so far, far away. We will meet possible aliens and wonder at their form, we will delve into the very principles of what it is to call something alive, and we will calculate the likelihood of 'contact' being made.

An Answer To Everything

Scientists generally agree on the big bang origin of the universe as we see it today. Fifteen billion years ago there was a momentous event whose nature is uncertain. But as we track the expansion backward, toward that moment of seeming creation, the details blur. Is our universe a minor event in an endless series of universes (or multiverses)? Our physics seem inadequate to explain the early times in a way that is consistent with the conditions existing today. That is a crucial requirement of science — no gaps should exist in the cause-and-effect chain linking two moments in a physical history. If our physics fails, understanding on the most fundamental level weakens; we have a crisis in science. New tentative and remarkable theories uniting relativity and quantum mechanics have been proposed — inflation theory and superstring theory. They are strange, not yet worked out, but seem to shed light on the earliest times. They hold the promise of providing a simple and elegant way to explain everything in universe and how it all works.

Another Earth

Could we be unique in the universe or is there another planet similar to earth somewhere in the cosmos? Is it possible that Alpha Centauri, our nearest star, is home to another earth-like planet? Earth sized planets have been hard to find, but indirect methods are coming on line to give scientists a good survey of how many such bodies may be in the universe. How rare would it be to find life on another earth-like planet?

Another Earth. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:59, May 1, 2011, from

Are We Alone?

Sir Martin explores the possibility that life exists on planets beyond our own. He unveils an unsettling scientific debate that has startling consequences for us Earthlings. Do you believe in aliens? If not, a quick glance through these pages might change your mind!

Are We Real?

There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this, Sir Martin takes us on a mind-boggling journey through multiple universes to post-biological life. On the way we learn of the disturbing possibility that we could be the product of someone else's experiment.


Biggest Things in the Universe

Birth of The Earth

An imaginary "human" time traveler takes us on a journey back to the moment our solar system was born 4.5 billion years ago and examines the natural forces that created Earth and the conditions necessary for life to evolve.

Black Holes & Beyond

The universe is a strange and violent place, full of regions spewing out energy on an unimaginable scale and objects so massive not even light can escape from them. With the discovery of quasars (extremely luminous, compact objects in the hearts of ancient galaxies), the picture of the universe became more complex. Though the mechanism responsible for such enormous outputs of energy is not completely established, one answer was found in a part of Einstein’s theory of relativity — black holes, specifically supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies. These objects consume enormous amounts of matter. As the matter falls inward, it releases a large amount of observable energy. Einstein didn’t think black holes were possible, despite the fact that his own theory implied their existence. Robert Oppenheimer thought otherwise and set out to prove the presence of collapsed stars so massive not even light can escape them. Black holes seem to be a reality.

Blues for a Red Planet

Colonizing Space

Space colonization is no longer the fodder of science fiction, it is becoming a reality. Examine the efforts underway to establish a human colony on Mars, including how they plan to grow food, recycle wastewater and introduce greenhouse gases to revive the red planet and make it more habitable for humans. Cutting-edge computer graphics are used to bring the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on Mars, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres.

Colonizing Space. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:24, May 1, 2011, from


A constellation is a group of stars that are connected together to form a figure or picture. These star pictures help organize the night sky and provide a useful tool for astronomers even today. Explore some of the 88 official constellations and learn about some of the highlights of each--like the star that's due to go supernova in the constellation Orion. Discover the 13th zodiac sign that no one talks about, and find out why Polaris, the North Star, will one day have to surrender its title.

Constellations. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:12, May 1, 2011, from

Cosmic Alchemy

What is the universe and everything in it made of? Where does it all come from, and how do we know? Discoveries in the late 19th century revealed that the entire observable universe is made of the same elements as those on earth. With knowledge of the dual nature of matter and energy, scientists began to fit the pieces of the macroscopic and microscopic world together. This program covers the discovery of the nature of matter, its initial creation from the primordial conditions in the big bang, the building up of elements in stars, and the way this might affect the end of the universe.

Cosmic Apocalypse

The Universe as we know it is condemned to death. Space, matter and even time will one day cease to exist and there's nothing we can do about it. Harsh realities are revealed about the future of our Universe; it may collapse and burn or it might be gripped by a galactic ice age. Either of these scenarios might be a long way off. However, our Universe could suddenly be destroyed by a "random quantum fluctuation", a bubble of destruction that can obliterate the entire cosmos in the blink of an eye. No matter how it ends, life in our Universe is doomed.

Cosmic Apocalypse. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:35, May 1, 2011, from

Cosmic Collisions

Cosmic Holes

Today, we know black holes exist, and now scientists are trying to confirm that other holes lurk in hyperspace. Our infinite cosmos could contain a variety of "holes" such as black, white, "mini" and wormholes. White holes are the reverse of black holes; instead of matter being sucked into it, matter is ejected out. Wormholes are gateways in the fabric of space and time. They are included in Einstein's field equations as possibilities for their existence. Neither white holes nor wormholes have ever been found. Learn about new discoveries including, colliding binary black holes, intermediate black holes and manufacturing mini black holes.

Cosmic Holes. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 5:39, May 1, 2011, from

Cosmic Phenomena

A variety of cosmic events have both helpful and harmful effects on life on Earth. From the beauty of the Aurora Borealis and rainbows to the dangers of UV radiation and cosmic rays, from the miracle of photosynthesis to the thrill of a meteor shower, this episode explores how the effects generated by the sun and other extra-solar sources can literally get under our skin, scramble our technology, make life possible and threaten our existence all at the same time.

Cosmic Phenomena. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 8:04, May 1, 2011, from

Dark Matter / Dark Energy

Deadly Comets & Meteors

Deep Space Disasters

Edge Of Space

Low Earth Orbit, 120 miles above sea level, is where the majority of space exploration has occurred. This 1,100 mile band around Earth is where--for a cool $20 million--any private citizen can take the vacation of his or her life on the International Space Station. Commercial prospects for LEO are huge; but dangers lurk for any individual willing to travel here--radiation, cosmic rays, and space debris numbering in the thousands threaten any spacecraft traveling in orbit. It's the new frontier, or the final frontier...and the possibilities are endless if you are willing to travel to the edge of space exploration.

Edge of Space. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 8:03, May 1, 2011, from

Encyclopaedia Galactica


Professor Al-Khalili set out to discover what the universe might actually look like. The journey takes him from the distant past to the boundaries of the known universe. Along the way he charts the remarkable stories of the men and women who discovered the truth about the cosmos and investigates how our understanding of space has been shaped by both mathematics and astronomy.


Gravity is the most powerful and exacting force in the universe. It is pervasive and penetrating. Gravity binds us together, its reach hangs stars in the sky and its grip crushes light. Gravity holds planets together, and leashes them to their suns. Without gravity, stars, comets, moons, nebulae, and even the Earth itself would not exist. Explore how science and humanity discovered, overcame and utilized gravity. Learn what it takes to propel objects into the heavens, to ride a wave or to ski down a slope. Take a front row seat as an astronaut subjects himself to the weightless wonders of the specially modified aircraft used to train astronauts known as the "Vomit Comet."

Gravity. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:33, May 1, 2011, from

Heaven & Hell

Inner Planets

Contrasts the radical differences between Earth and the planets Venus and Mercury. Lessons for life on earth are presented.

Journey to the Edge of the Universe

In one single, epic camera move we journey from Earths surface to the outermost reaches of the universe on a grand tour of the cosmos, to explore newborn stars, distant planets, black holes and beyond.

Journeys in Space and Time

Jupiter: The Giant Planet

Visit the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, with over 60 moons.

Light Speed

According to the laws of physics we can never travel faster than the speed of light...or can we? Light speed allows us to see things instantly here on Earth, and shows us the entire history of the universe going back nearly 14 billion years. Learn all about light speed, the ultimate constant in the universe and discover ways scientists envision breaking the "light barrier" which may be the only way the star travel of our imaginations ever comes to reality.

Light Speed. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:42, May 1, 2011, from

Living In Space

Mars: The Red Planet

It has been fifty years since man first ventured into space, but the greatest secrets are yet to be revealed. Mars is the planet in our solar system most similar to Earth despite otherworldly features such as the largest volcano in the Solar System. Rumors of life on Mars may be substantiated as NASA orbiters and rovers discover new evidence of frozen water just beneath the rusty soil. Did alien life exist there? As Earth reels with the effects of global warming, Mars becomes the most likely candidate for eventual human habitation. Cutting-edge computer graphics are used to show what life would be like on Mars, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres.

Mysteries of The Moon

For thousands of years, mankind has found comfort in its presence. It's been a lantern for nighttime travelers, a timekeeper for farmers, and a location finder for sailors at sea. For some cultures, it's even been a god. It's the only cosmic body ever visited by human beings. From afar, the Moon's luminance has captivated us since the beginning of time. And a closer look at the beacon in the dark sky reveals an ever-present source of myth, intrigue, controversy and unsolved mysteries. The field of science may cast an empirical light on some things about the Universe, but lunar experts are the first to admit they don't have all the answers when it comes to our Moon. This episode explores the theories behind Lunar Transient Phenomena that have left scientists stumped for centuries; takes to the Canadian waters to see how the Moon effects our planet through tides; and dusts off some age-old myths and weighs arguments that without our Moon, humanity may not even exist.

Mysteries of the Moon. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 5:43, May 1, 2011, from


Take a tour through the "Art Gallery of the Galaxy" and view what are considered the "crown jewels" of the heavens. Nebulas are mysterious clouds of gas that aren't classified as stars, planets, moons or asteroids. Astronomers use the most sophisticated techniques to view them since they are practically invisible to the naked eye. Nothing less than stunning, nebulas glow, reflect or obscure the galaxy's light with amazing swirls of color. Nebulas mark the regions where the nothingness of space first coalesces, where stars are born and where stars die. Cutting-edge computer graphics are used to bring the universe down to earth.

Nebulas. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:26, May 1, 2011, from

New Frontiers: Onto the Land

This episode tells the story of how "continental drift" brought our ancestors onto the land. Four hundred million years ago, shallow seas around primeval continents were home to most life-forms. The size of the shallow seas decreased as the supercontinents, like Laurasia formed. Some species found freshwater homes inland to escape from a struggle for survival in the ocean.

Continental drift caused the formation of huge mountains. The peaks blocked atmospheric currents, creating clouds that rain. The rain gathered to make rivers at the foot of the mountains. Our ancestor, Eustenopteron, came to live in those rivers at the foot of the Caledonian mountains, where primeval trees called Archaeopteris developed a mild and stable environment.

The leaves of Archaeopteris supplied nutrients for life, but caused oxygen depletion during dry seasons. Eustenopteron and other fish species developed proto-lungs to survive in low oxygen. Huge predators appeared as well. Acanthostega sought to hide from predators in Archaeopteris branches that piled in water near riverbanks. They made their way forward by pushing the branches aside, thus developing a forefoot. After several million years, Pederpes finally made the first step onto the land.


Professor Al-Khalili explores science at the very limits of human perception, where we now understand the deepest mysteries of the universe lie. Jim sets out to answer one very simple question - what is nothing? His journey ends with perhaps the most profound insight about reality that humanity has ever made. Everything came from nothing. The quantum world of the super-small shaped the vast universe we inhabit today, and Jim can prove it.

On Being Dense

This is the third of twelve lectures by Neal deGrasse Tyson.

In a follow up to a lecture covering that which is rarefied in the cosmos, Neil continues on to lecture about that which is dense.  More generally, a discussion about what it means for things to have density at all.


On Being Rarefied

This is the second of twelve lectures by Neal deGrasse Tyson.

Neil discusses some rare phenomenon and objects in the cosmos.


On Being Round

This is the first of twelve lectures by Neal deGrasse Tyson.

Neil discusses some of the machinery that shapes and forms the cosmos.  Why is so much stuff in the universe round?

On The Dark Side

According to the observational research of Vera Rubin on the velocities of stars around galaxies, there is a great deal of matter exerting a gravitational force that we simply cannot see. This matter appears to be of an entirely different nature from the ordinary matter we experience, observe, and interact with in everyday life. There is no spectral evidence of its presence. This “dark matter” makes up roughly 90 percent of the stuff in the universe, and it has important gravitational implications for the future of the universe. Specifically, will the universe keep expanding forever, or will it someday stop and start collapsing upon itself on the way to a big crunch? Perhaps there is just enough matter for the expansion to be halted by gravity, but not enough to collapse. For science there are two problems here: What is the mysterious dark matter? How much of it is there?

One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue

Welcome to the second episode of the acclaimed documentary series Cosmos, narrated by that great science popularizer and humanist we all miss, Carl Sagan.

In this episode, in an effort to understand the likelihood of the development of life on other planets, Sagan explores the process responsible for life on earth: evolution through natural selection. He starts with a delightful story about the Heike crab and Japanese samurai warriors, drawing the crucial distinction between artificial and natural selection, and further explains how the process of evolution, when you observe it carefully, is more elegant and coherent than the inference of an intelligent designer.

Then he walks us through the cosmic calendar showing how the molecular building blocks of life didn't appear until October, how simple multicellular organisms didn't appear until November, and how macroscopic, complex life didn't evolve until around December 15th. The apes from which we descend didn't come into existence until December 31st, at around 10:15am, and anatomically modern humans only came into being 6 minutes before the end of the year.

As if this wasn't enough, we get to visualize our genealogical lineage, and a few others, all the way back from the very first rudimentary forms of simple life to amphibians, reptiles and modern humans, beautifully and powerfully marking our genetic relatedness and cosmic connection. And then we go deep into the nucleus of a cell, discovering the processes by which DNA replicates itself and produces the new generation.

Parallel Universes

Some of the world's leading physicists believe they have found startling new evidence showing the existence of universes other than our own. One possibility is that the universe is so vast that an exact replica of our Solar System, our planet and ourselves exists many times over. These Doppelganger Universes exist within our own Universe; in what scientist now call "The Multiverse." Today, trailblazing experiments by state of the art particle colliders are looking for evidence of higher dimensions and Parallel Universes. If proof is found, it will change our lives, our minds, our planet, our science and our universe.

Parallel Universes. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:40, May 1, 2011, from

Saturn: Lord of the Rings

Program takes a brief look at the dynamics of Saturn's rings before exploring the unique and amazing features of the planet itself, including the curious behavior at the poles, and recent discoveries about Saturn's exotic moons.

Secrets of The Sun

It is a fireball in the sky, a bubbling, boiling, kinetic sphere of white hot plasma, exploding and erupting. Its size is almost unimaginable--one million Earths would fit within its boundaries. In this violence is born almost all the energy that makes existence on Earth possible, yet, its full mysteries are only now beginning to be understood. From Sun spots to solar eclipses, solar flares to solar storms, the birth of the sun to its potential death, discover the science and history behind this celestial object that makes life on Earth exist.

Seeing Is Believing

From the dawn of civilization, humans have struggled to understand the nature of the universe. The ancients sought answers from pure reason limited by beliefs in gods and an earth-centered universe. Eratosthenes’s determination of the earth’s radius and Ptolemy’s system of planetary motion shed no light on more fundamental issues. In the Renaissance, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton sparked a revolution in thought. They added measurement and the concept of universal physical law to reason and supposition. Science was born, initiating discoveries which, in 1927, brought Edwin Hubble to a California mountaintop observatory with the right question and the means to answer it. The interpretation of his results was astounding: the entire universe was expanding from an explosive moment of creation — the big bang.

Sex In Space

As man moves to colonize the cosmos, the realities of sexual relationships and reproduction need to be addressed. Probe the physiological, psychological and cultural challenges of sex in space. From the sex act through birth, look at how the extreme environments of space exploration might effect copulation, conception and developing human tissues, as well as how issues around sex might impact the emotional lives of astronauts. Get to the bottom of the rumors to find out if space sex has already happened, and look at how the burgeoning space tourism business may soon lead to a boom in space sex.

Sex in Space. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:46, May 1, 2011, from

Snowball Earth: First Complex Life

The hypothesis "Snowball Earth" explains that ice ages, caused by the earliest life-forms, resulted in an evolutional leap — larger-sized life. Atmospheric methane created by microbes initially kept the Earth warm. As microbes that produce oxygen (photosynthesizers) emerged, atmospheric methane was lowered. As a result Earth cooled and the primeval ocean froze to 1,000 meters deep.

Most life may have become extinct during a long period of intense glaciation believed to have lasted several million years. However, some life survived, perhaps in puddles created near volcanic craters. Carbon dioxide accumulated in the air because thick ice sheets prevented ocean water from absorbing it. A green-house effect, created by carbon dioxide, finally melted the ice and fed photosynthesizers.

Hyper hurricanes raged after the great meltdown and stirred up the ocean water, creating an ideal condition for life to prosper and develop collagen. Using collagen, life-forms were able to build larger bodies, and a variety of creatures, called Ediacara biota, emerged for the first time.

Space Travel

When man finally broke free of the Earth's gravitational pull the dream of traveling to other planets became a reality. Today scientists are proposing a bizarre array of technologies in the hope of traveling faster through space: from space craft sporting sails that catch laser beams, to propulsion engines powered by a bizarre entity known as anti-matter. Finally explore the science behind the seemingly fanciful notion of warp-drive and a theoretical particle that can travel faster than light.

Space Travel. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:02, May 1, 2011, from

Spaceship Earth

Take a high performance ride through the formation of the third planet from the Sun, Earth. A survivor of one of the most violent "neighborhoods" in the universe, learn how earth was created and discover what creatures hold clues to how life began. What evil forces threaten the demise of Earth? Complex and controversial, this is the scientific detective story of all time. Cutting-edge graphics are used along with the stories of scientists and explorers who dare to venture into the uncharted territory of the cosmos.

Stopping Armageddon

It sounds like a Hollywood blockbuster: a deadly asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. But in reality, it's only a matter of time before a giant space rock threatens to wipe out civilization. An asteroid took out the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. Are we next? This episode analyzes the threat and explores the many ways--from a nuclear bomb to ingenious new technology--that experts are proposing to stop Armageddon.

Stopping Armageddon. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:57, May 1, 2011, from

Strangest Things

From stars, galaxies and moons to subatomic particles, black holes and invisible phenomena, discover the most bizarre, mysterious and exotic things in our universe. Learn about actual alcohol clouds floating in space that are filled with organic molecules which produce complex compounds like ethyl alcohol, the stuff we drink. Is there a hypothetical planet that exists beyond Neptune and what are pulsar planets? Mini Black Holes are a theoretical idea, but if they were to exist, some theorists speculate that they might have been produced shortly after the "Big Bang." Finally, delve into dark matter, a hypothetical form of matter that is invisible yet it exists everywhere.

Strangest Things. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 8:01, May 1, 2011, from


A stellar explosion, the supernova is the sensational death of a star. It can shine as bright as 100 billion Suns and radiate as much energy as the Sun would emit over 10 billion years. Jets of high-energy light and matter are propelled into space and can cause massive Gamma Ray Bursts and emit intense X-ray radiation for thousands of years. Astronomers believe that this process creates the very building blocks of planets, people and plants. Meet the world's leading Supernova hunters, and take a look at recorded supernovas throughout history.

Supernovas. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:11, May 1, 2011, from

The Backbone of the Night

The Big Bang

Many scientists of the early 20th century, including Albert Einstein, found the idea of an expanding universe with an abrupt origin unpalatable. They viewed the universe as static and eternal. Ironically, the most vocal advocate of the expanding universe was Father LaMaitre of the Roman Catholic Church, the institution that had once strenuously resisted Galileo’s ideas. Were the same human constraints that plagued earlier astronomers present in modern times? To a certain extent they were, but now there was a difference. All scientists agreed that the controversy could only be settled by direct and precise measurements. What measurements? For almost 40 years a debate raged until Robert Dicke proposed that the big bang would have produced a flash of light still present everywhere as a glow of radio waves. In 1965 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson unmistakably found that glow, now called the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR). The debate was over. Our universe, the totality of all things, had a fiery beginning about 15 billion years ago.

The Black Hole War

Recognizing a contradiction in Stephen Hawking's claim that things disappear in black holes, Susskind and Gerard t'Hooft offered a counterargument aimed at disproving this controversial theory.

Susskind discusses the story behind the black hole conflict and how it has led to a better idea of how our universe works.

The Edge of Forever

The End of The Earth

A few of the cosmic threats to life on earth reviewed include meteors, gamma ray bursts and, in the distant future, evolution of the sun.

The Harmony of the Worlds

The Life and Death of a Star

Ignited by the power of the atom, burning with light, heat and wrath, stars are anything but peaceful. They collide, devour each other, and explode in enormous supernovas--the biggest explosions in the Universe. Using cutting-edge computer graphics, never-before-seen satellite images, and interviews with the world's leading astronomers, take a front row seat to the most amazing light show in the cosmos.

The Lives of the Stars

The Milky Way

We used to think that Earth was at the center of the universe, but now we know we're not even at the center of our own galaxy. Countless wonders exist between where earth is situated and the massive black hole at the galactic center of our solar system. Within the Milky Way can be found the debris of old, dying stars fueling the birth of new stars and at the galactic center hypervelocity stars get catapulted clear beyond the Milky Way's outer rim at unimaginable speeds. Come along for a guided tour of 100,000 light-year-wide family of stars and stellar phenomena we call The Milky Way.

The Milky Way. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 5:57, May 1, 2011, from

The Moon

The moon has comforted man for thousands of years. It's been everything from a god to a compass, and the only cosmic body human beings have ever visited. NASA is planning to build a permanent outpost there. Discover how the moon came to be--if you don't already know, you will be astounded.

The Order of the Elements

Professor Al-Khalili looks at the 19th century chemists who struggled to impose an order on the apparently random world of the elements. From working out how many there were to discovering their unique relationships with each other, the early scientists' bid to decode the hidden order of the elements was driven by false starts and bitter disputes. But ultimately the quest would lead to one of chemistry's most beautiful intellectual creations - the periodic table.

The Persistence of Memory

The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

The size and age of the cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home -- the Earth. For the first time, we have the power to decide the fate of our planet and ourselves. This is a time of great danger, but our species is young and curious and brave, it shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the cosmos and our place within it. Our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.

We're about to begin a journey through the cosmos. We'll encounter galaxies and suns and planets, life and consciousness, coming into being, evolving and perishing. Worlds of ice and stars of diamond, atoms as massive as suns, universes smaller than atoms. But it's also a story of our own planet, and the plants and animals that share it with us. And it's a story about us, how we achieved our present understanding of the cosmos, how the cosmos has shaped our evolution and our culture, and what our fate may be.

We wish to pursue the truth no matter where it leads, but to find the truth we need imagination and skepticism both. We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact. The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant troves of exquisite interrelationships, of the awesome machinery of nature.

The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. The journey for each of us begins here. We are going to explore the cosmos in a ship of the imagination, unfettered by ordinary limits on speed and size, drawn by the music of cosmic harmonies. It can take us anywhere in space and time. Perfect as a snowflake, organic as a dandelion seed, it will carry us to worlds of dreams, and worlds of facts. Come with me.

Before us is the cosmos on the grandest scale we know. We are far from the shores of Earth, in the uncharted reaches of the cosmic ocean, strewn like sea froth on the waves of space, our innumerable faint tendrils of light, some of them containing hundreds of billions of suns.

The Story of Everything

The Story of Everything. In 2 eye-popping hours, Hawking reveals the wonders of the cosmos to a new generation. Delve into the mind of the world's most famous living scientist and reveal the splendor and majesty of the universe as never seen before. See how the universe began, how it creates stars, black holes and life -- and how everything will end.

Thunderbolds of the Gods

Thunderbolts of the Gods by David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill introduces the reader to an age of planetary instability and earthshaking electrical events in ancient times. The 108-page full-color monograph, based on the life work of the two authors, offers a revolutionary synthesis of historical investigation and the newly-discovered "Electric Universe."

Talbott and Thornhill claim that cosmic upheaval occurred so recently as to have profoundly affected early human cultures, provoking "incomprehensible" myths, symbols, and commemorative practices. Through a synthesis of ancient testimony, high-energy plasma experiments, and space age discoveries, the authors bring the ancient world to life. If their hypothesis is correct, it could not fail to alter many paths of scientific investigation as well.

Time Travel

"Is Time Travel Possible?" Hawking explores the world's favourite scientific 'what if?' He explores all the possibilities, warping the very fabric of time and space as he goes. From killing your grandfather to riding a black hole, we learn the pitfalls and the prospects for a technology that could quite literally, change everything.

Travellers' Tales

Unexplained Mysteries

Delve into the myths, misconceptions, truths and amazing mysteries of our unique universe. Could life exist on Mars? Is time travel possible and does Einstein's theory of relativity support it? Is there  a companion dark star to our sun and could it pose a threat to earth? Learn about the spark that lit the big bang. Take a journey from science fiction that predicted all these things, to the scientific reality of what they mean to us in the ever-changing universe.

Unexplained Mysteries. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 6:14, May 1, 2011, from

Violent Planet: Secrets of our Past

Earth was born as a result of repeated asteroid collisions, the moon created by a single giant impact event. Then, Earth's size attracted huge meteorites, which slammed into it, causing super-high-temperature rock vapor to cover the entire surface and evaporate all ocean water. The earliest life-forms survived such infernal events by escaping deep into the ground, miraculously emerging again and again.

The Earth has gone through innumerable catastrophic events, and life has survived by acquiring new abilities to live through each crisis. Humans are part of the grand history of life's evolution, which has been closely intertwined with repeated cataclysmic events. Why was Earth able to evolve into a livable planet, but not Mars, which failed to hold its atmosphere and oceans? Find out in the opening episode of the series.

What Happened Before the Big Bang?

They are the biggest questions that science can possibly ask: where did everything in our universe come from? How did it all begin? For nearly a hundred years, we thought we had the answer: a big bang some 14 billion years ago.

But now some scientists believe that was not really the beginning. Our universe may have had a life before this violent moment of creation.

Horizon takes the ultimate trip into the unknown, to explore a dizzying world of cosmic bounces, rips and multiple universes, and finds out what happened before the big bang.

Who Speaks for Earth?

Why Are We Here?

Everything you thought you knew about the universe is wrong. It's made of atoms, right? Wrong. Atoms only account for a measly 15% of everything that exists. The mass of the universe consists of something so mysterious and elusive that it has been dubbed dark.

Wildest Weather in the Cosmos

Imagine a tornado so powerful, it can form a planet, or winds sweeping across a planet but blowing at 6,000 miles per hour! How about rain....made of iron? Sounds like science fiction, but this type of weather is occurring daily in our solar system. Scientists are just beginning to unlock the secrets of these planets and their atmospheres. Can this research help scientists solve long unanswered questions that we have about Earth? As our own planet churns with the effects of global warming, it's natural to look into the heavens and wonder about the rest of the real estate.

Wildest Weather in the Cosmos. (2011). The History Channel website. Retrieved 7:28, May 1, 2011, from