This is the story of how our solar system will be transformed by the aging sun before coming to a spectacular end in about eight billion years. Astronomers can peer into the far future to predict how it will happen by analysing distant galaxies, stars and even planets in their final moments. In this film, Horizon brings these predictions to life in a peaceful midwestern town that has a giant scale model of the solar system spread out all over the city. As it ages, the sun will bloat into a red giant star, swallowing planets… as well as half the town. The fate of the Earth itself hangs in the balance. How will the solar system end?
The seven wonder of our solar system are discussed: Enceladus' geysers, Rings of Saturn, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the Asteroid Belt, Mars' Olympus Mons, the Surface of the Sun, and planet Earth.
The oceans define the earth. They are crucial to life and we used to think that they were unique to our blue planet. But we were wrong. It has recently been discovered that there are oceans all over our solar system, and they are very similar to our own. And now scientists are going on an epic journey in search of new life in places that never seemed possible. Nasa is even planning to dive to the depths of a strange, distant ocean in a remarkable submarine. Horizon discovers that the hunt for oceans in space is marking the dawn of a new era in the search for alien life.
We think of volcanoes as some of the most powerful natural phenomena on earth - but they are nothing compared to the volcanoes we find elsewhere in the solar system. This month's Sky at Night reveals the weird and wonderful world of volcanism on other planets and moons - from the giant extinct volcanoes of Mars to the tantalising possibility of continuing eruptions on Venus, and from the vast sulphur plumes of Io to the mysterious cryovolcanoes of Enceladus.
New planets are now being discovered outside our solar system on a regular basis, and these strange new worlds are forcing scientists to rewrite the history of our own solar system. Far from a simple story of stable orbits, the creation of our solar system is a tale of hellfire, chaos and planetary pinball.
It's a miracle our Earth is here at all.
In this spellbinding series Professor Brian Cox visits the most extreme locations on Earth to explain how the laws of physics carved natural wonders across the solar system.