Next Episode of The Sky at Night is
Our team of astronomers tell us what's on view in the night sky. From comets to quasars, there is always something fascinating to discuss in the Universe.
The Sky at Night reports on one of the most unnerving discoveries in space science - that most of the universe is missing. We live in a material world, so instinctively we know what normal matter is - the world around us, the planets, stars and interstellar dust. But scientists currently estimate that 95 per cent of everything in the universe is actually - one way or another - invisible. Some of this is ordinary matter that we just can't easily see. But there's also stuff that's much more weird. For instance, there's a new kind of matter we think is out there, but whose very existence is still largely hypothetical - dark matter. And most mysteriously of all, scientists think there is an unknown form of energy pervading the universe that we know so little about, all it has so far is a name - dark energy. The Sky at Night takes you on a tour of this invisible universe, and shows how its existence - or lack of it - will define the fate of the entire universe.
The team investigates an astronomical detective story. In October 2017, astronomers spotted the first ever object to visit our solar system from outer space. They called it 'Oumuamua. Its discovery set off a hurricane of press speculation and a major scientific investigation. The Sky at Night goes to Queen's University in Belfast, which has become the centre of scientific research on this cosmic visitor. When they first spotted it, all scientists knew was that it was small, it was travelling fast, and it came from outside our solar system. What did it look like? How had it formed? What was it made of? Where had it come from? To answer these questions, the team pieces together all the clues that scientists have extracted from the small amounts of data collected as 'Oumuamua flashed through the solar system.
Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott reveal the latest results from Nasa's Curiosity and Esa's ExoMars TGO missions that are attempting to find signs of life on Mars. Maggie visits the Airbus 'Mars Yard' to find out how the next lander heading to Mars is being built to survive the planet's incredibly hostile environment. And the team asks - if Mars is a dead planet, could the first life on Mars be humans? Chris talks to Andy Weir, author of The Martian, about whether a manned mission to Mars is just a fantasy.
For past three and a half years, ESA's Gaia Space telescope has been mapping the heavens in unprecedented detail. At the end of April 2018 it released precise data on over 1.3 billion stars in the Milky Way showing how they move over time and their distance from Earth. Maggie and Chris reveal some of the most surprising initial findings, from the discovery of wandering black holes, hyper velocity stars and 'transient phenomena' to a brand new age map of the Milky Way and concrete evidence of how our galaxy formed.
Patrick Moore(Patrick Moore)
Maggie Aderin Pocock(Maggie Aderin Pocock)
Lucie Green(Lucie Green)
Chris Lintott(Chris Lintott)
Looks like something went completely wrong!
But don't worry - it can happen to the best of us,
- and it just happened to you.
Please try again later or contact us.