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This review is from: How The Universe Works [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is not an actual review of the Blu-Ray version of the series since it is not released yet, but rather a description of the contents as I quote from the Discovery.com website for the DVD version. Nonetheless, I believe the Blu-ray should have the same content and I hope this will be helpful to many. There are 8 episodes in total:
1) Extreme Stars, 2) Black Holes, 3) Big Bang, 4) Alien Galaxies, 5) Alien Solar Systems, 6) Extreme Planets, 7) Alien Moons, and 8) Supernovas.
Here is the detailed description from the Discovery cahnnel website:
"A fascinating How The Universe Works DVD, will give you a front-row seat to the inner workings of our world. See how stars were engineered, how deadly black holes can be and get the scoop on the Big Bang Theory. Also in a Universe DVD, watch as scientists discuss all that is alien, extreme plants and finally the immense explosions, also known as supernovas. An outer Space DVD is a must-have for anyone interested in the science of the Universe and all that it encompasses.
A How The Universe Works DVD, begins by engineering the Universe and shows you how the cosmos is designed, built, and actually works. From the beginning of time, Stars, Galaxies, Planets, Solar Systems, and more have been working individually and together to produce all that is and all that we see. See, in the Universe DVD, as never before the inner workings of our world, and explore black holes, supernovae, neutron stars, dark energy, and all the titanic forces that make us who we are. With a dynamic cast of experts and a new generation of CGI, Engineering the Universe looks under the celestial hood to reveal the inner workings of outer space: the story of how it's made and how it runs. An outer Space DVD is your ultimate Cosmos Operator's Manual.
Buy the How The Universe Works DVD and join experts as they reveal the creation, expansion and operation of outer space.
This program tells the story of how stars were engineered by the Universe and how Stars then went on to engineer everything else in that very universe. We'll learn how nuclear fusion in the core of these stars keeps them burning for billions of years and is what powers our nearest star 'the sun'. They transformed the Universe by spawning further generations of stars, then planets and eventually the building blocks of life itself. We will follow the life-cycle of stars from 'red giants' like our own sun that die leaving beautiful 'planetary nebula', to massive 'red supergiants' which die young in violent events called supernovae, creating elements from the gold in our wedding rings to the iron in our blood.
Black Holes are the most powerful and deadly destroyers in the Universe and the most mysterious phenomena in the heavens, incredible chilling consequences of the forces that hold the Cosmos together. For years they were only speculation, now modern astronomy is proving them frighteningly real and showing that these monsters may well be pulling the cosmic strings, controlling the shape of everything we see. We will learn how they are born from the deaths of massive stars, what it might be like to travel in to a black hole and that soon we might be able to get an actual glimpse of the super massive black hole at the heart of our milky way.
This program tells the greatest story ever told, the origin of space and the origin of time. We witness the Big Bang, the moment of creation and the birth of everything that we see around us. Thirteen point seven billion years ago there was nothing, no space, no time. Out of nothing, explodes an infinitely hot and dense soup that rapidly expands from the size of a subatomic particle to the size of a galaxy in a fraction of a second. Then the formation of fundamental forces that shape our Universe, the epic battle between matter and antimatter and the creation of the first particles that make up the cells in your body, the ground beneath our feet and the stars in the night sky. This is the most important time in history with more happening in the first second to shape our Universe than in the 13 billion years since.
Galaxies, home to stars, planets and us, come in all shapes and sizes. From majestic spirals to giant balls of stars and gas, these immense cities of stars are the building blocks of the Universe itself. How the Universe Works witnesses the evolution of galaxies; from clouds of cold gas 13 billion years ago, to the magnificent spirals that fill our night sky. Super-massive black holes, dark, giant monsters lurking in the heart of galaxies, and mysterious dark matter, the glue that holds galaxies together. Filaments of gas, link galaxies up in a colossal cosmic web to form the largest structure in the Universe and protects them from an even more enigmatic force"¦dark energy, that threatens to rip the universe apart.
Alien Solar Systems
The Solar System -- eight planets and a star; our familiar, stable corner of the universe. But how much do we really know about its formation? And is it unique? Recent discoveries are revealing its secrets -- a brutal history of colliding planets, some devoured by the sun, whilst future models predict a violent death. Since the first discovery of a planet orbiting another star in 1992, some 280 alien solar systems have been identified. It's only by looking at solar systems far beyond our own, that we can understand just how remarkable our small patch of universe really is.
There are just eight planets in our solar system, but there could be a hundred billion in our Milky Way galaxy alone. As we enter into a golden age of planetary discovery the possibilities are endless. Pushing out deep into space we are finding planets that are stranger than we could ever have imagined -- from giant burning gas spheres to icy orphaned worlds wandering in interstellar space. So just how did they get to be so different? How the Universe Works follows the remarkable journey of planets as they grow from grains of dust to the magnificently diverse worlds we see today.
Recent explorations have revealed moons to be the chemistry labs of the cosmos and the most likely places where we might find life beyond our planet. While some moons are no more than asteroids caught by the snare of gravity; others are part of giant family systems and almost planets in their own right. Some of the most diverse worlds in the Universe, we know of 300 moons just in our own Solar System, but there may be billions. How these moons are born, live, and die is fundamental to understanding our planet's turbulent origins and our place in the Universe.
Stars are not eternal; they are dying all the time in unimaginably large explosions, called supernovas. Second only to the Big Bang, the explosions are where the very essence of creation and destruction meet. Deep in the core of a massive star gold, lead, oxygen, and every other complex element, is created. When the star's nuclear furnace runs empty these vital materials are hurled across space, creating all the planets, plants and oceans we see today. Supernovas even made us, right down to the iron in our blood. Only now have we begun to understand how these wonders in our sky work -- and what they can teach us about the origins of the universe and ultimately, its future."