Since April 1957, Sir Patrick Moore (1923=2012) has presented The Sky at Night. Airing a new episode every month, the show continues to explore our solar system and beyond. It is the longest running science show on TV.Many famous people have appeared on The Sky at Night, among them: Harlow Shapley, Carl Sagan and Jocelyn Bell-Burnell. Also many astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.Most of the early episodes no longer exist on film.
On 1 January 2019, Nasa's New Horizons probe notched up another historic first: the first ever Kuiper belt fly-by. Its target was 2014 MU69, a chunk of ice and rock about four billion miles (approximately 6.4 billion kilometres) from Earth, dubbed Ultima Thule, a Latin phrase meaning a distant, unknown region. It is the most distant fly-by in history, and it is believed the data New Horizons gathers will shed new light on the solar system's early days. Chris Lintott reports from the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland to bring the latest news and pictures from this extraordinary mission.
The Sky at Night team investigates the ongoing hunt for life on Mars. It is one of the great scientific questions of our time, but are we any closer to finding an answer? As well as uncovering the cause of the recent crash of the Schiaparelli lander, the team looks at the next missions designed to hunt for life on the red planet - from a rover designed to drill deep into the surface, to the orbiter sniffing for signs of methane in the atmosphere. Adam Rutherford joins the team to ask if we have been deliberately avoiding the most likely places to find life on Mars.
Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott present a look back at some of the biggest stories in space science of 2016, and see how these discoveries have developed since making the headlines. Featuring a look at new evidence of a ninth planet in the solar system, the Juno probe's study of Jupiter, and scientists searching for evidence of other planets capable of sustaining human life.
The future of Britain's space programme, examining plans for the first UK spaceport in Scotland and the development of a new rocket system. The programme also examines a revolutionary new form of micro-satellites, and the plans to potentially launch thousands of them worldwide. Plus, Tim Peake takes a look at the history of British space exploration.
A report on BepiColombo, a spacecraft sent on a seven-year journey to the heart of the solar system to study Mercury. The objective is to discover why the smallest planet in the solar system seems to be shrinking even further, how it survives orbiting so close to the sun, and how it was formed in the first place.
The team looks at the trans-Neptunian objects - a vast number of strange, dark, icy worlds - which played a crucial role in the evolution of our solar system.
The Sky at Night celebrates one of the most profound, moving and enjoyable activities there is - the ancient art of looking up, studying and marvelling at the night sky. The programme is based at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich - the spiritual home of British astronomy - and sets out to discover the many and varied ways we can all enjoy the majesty of the skies. Maggie Aderin-Pocock travels to Norway to see the northern lights, and discovers that we are in a golden age of aurora research as she learns what they tell us about the solar system. Chris Lintott learns the ancient art of navigating by the stars, whilst Pete Lawrence helps choose the right equipment to set yourself up as an amateur astronomer. This is your guide to observing and enjoying all the Wonders of the Night Sky.