The Earth is bombarded by extra terrestrial material every day, but what is this cosmic debris? Sir Patrick Moore investigates comet tails, meteorites and asteroids and discovers the terrible consequences of a cosmic collision with the Earth. Also, the latest stunning images from Mars Express.
Voyager 2, launched in 1977, has already passed by the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, all of which have provided plenty of surprises. Voyager has now passed Neptune, sending back remarkable new information about the outermost planet. Patrick Moore is joined by Dr Garry Hunt and other experts from the American team to summarise what has been discovered about this lonely, remote world.
A look behind the scenes of Nasa's project to study Jupiter. As the spacecraft Juno enters Jupiter's orbit, the programme explores the dangers of the mission and what Nasa is hoping to discover about the giant planet - from the secrets of its formation to the source of the solar system's most powerful aurora.
The Sky at Night focuses all its attention on one object - M51 aka the Whirlpool Galaxy. Sitting approximately 30 million light years from Earth, this spectacular spiral galaxy was first discovered in 1773 by the French astronomer Charles Messier. It is thought to have been the inspiration behind the swirling patterns of van Gogh's Starry Night, and ever since it has fascinated astronomers and star watchers. So for this month's Sky at Night we have declared June 1st Whirlpool Galaxy Day. On this one day we will be aiming as many telescopes as possible at the galaxy.
May 9th 2016 sees one of the astronomical highlights of the year - a transit of Mercury across the sun, the best opportunity to observe this phenomenon until 2049. To mark the event, the Sky at Night attempts to explain the many mysteries of Mercury - a planet so bizarre that it is sometimes described as the 'problem child' of the solar system. Surface temperatures exceed 450 degrees but it also has patches of ice, its day is twice as long as its year, and it is a planet that appears to be shrinking.