Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain raise the stakes in the final night of their astronomy extravaganza, and reveal the results of their viewers' challenge to find undiscovered galaxies at the edge of space. Reporting live from above the clouds in Norway, Liz Bonnin has one last chance to capture the spectacular Northern Lights, using super-sensitive cameras. Brian reveals why no-one really knows what our own galaxy, the Milky Way, really looks like, and how the remarkable Gaia space probe is set to change all that by mapping a billion of our neighbouring stars. With his sights set on a weekend break to a distant planet, Dara prepares to suffer as he straps himself into a human centrifuge to find out whether humans can accelerate to light speed. Meanwhile, resident astronomer Mark Thompson joins thousands of amateur astronomers at one of the spectacular stargazing parties taking place across the country, and looks ahead at the treats the night sky has in store over the year.
Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain host the second night of their three-day stargazing extravaganza from Jodrell Bank Observatory, where they are joined by two generations of astronauts. Walt Cunningham was one of the first ever crew to fly an Apollo spacecraft into orbit, while Commander Chris Hadfield recently returned from months aboard the International Space Station. Liz Bonnin attempts a world-first, reporting live from a plane 28,000 feet above the Arctic Circle, as she steps up her mission to capture the Northern Lights. Dara finds out how it feels to be truly weightless on the infamous 'vomit comet' aeroplane. Brian describes how scientists are tackling the problem of interstellar travel, and the team reveal never-before-seen images from around the solar system. Meanwhile, resident astronomer Mark Thompson navigates using the stars, and takes an unprecedented look at the 400-year-old giant storm on Jupiter, as it moves into view live during the programme.
In the most ambitious series to date, Brian Cox and Dara O'Briain are back at Jodrell Bank Observatory, in the first of three live shows with the latest news and the best views of the night sky. This time the team have taken on an astonishing challenge - to capture one of the top highlights of the solar system - the mysterious and elusive northern lights. But will the lights reveal themselves? Liz Bonnin reports live from within the Arctic Circle, joining aurora researchers in northern Norway, who will help her unravel the secrets of this eerie spectacle. Brian and Dara have the very latest weather reports from around the solar system. They welcome celebrated NASA scientist Dr Carolyn Porco, who shares some of the most jaw-dropping pictures of the solar system ever beamed back to Earth: Saturn's gigantic storms and baffling hexagonal clouds taken by the Cassini probe. Dara witnesses the launch of a new NASA mission to Mars, while resident stargazer Mark Thompson chases clear skies to show the best of what there is to see above the UK. And if the January weather is not for you, you can help the team search for undiscovered galaxies from the comfort of your own living room.
Brian Cox explains how we can discover what stars are made of by analysing the light that arrives on earth from the stars. Elements are shown to emit certain colours when they are burnt.
Professor Brian Cox explains how stars die. Stars are only able to survive as long as they have a supply of hydrogen to burn. But all stars will eventually run out and then die.