Last Minute TV Viewing Alert: Finding Life Beyond Earth

A new NOVA show airs tonight (October 19) in the US on public television, called “Finding Life Beyond Earth.” It includes interviews with many big names in planetary science and like any NOVA show, should be excellent. PBS has a great website that goes along with the show, and for those of you that don’t live in the US or get a public television station, PBS usually posts the videos of NOVA shows online later. Above is a trailer for the show. Check your local listings for when it will air; if you miss it first time around, local stations will sometimes re-air the show during the middle of the night!

10 Replies to “Last Minute TV Viewing Alert: Finding Life Beyond Earth”

  1. NOVA can also be accessed through Hulu… I don’t know if this program will be available, but I do watch other NOVA episodes that way.

  2. I suppose the one thing which can be done to test these hypotheses about life on these ice moons is to, as Squires suggested, to fly a probe through the plumes emitted by the fissures on Enceladus. If there is life on Enceladus it could be captured pretty easily and returned to Earth in a cryro-dewar on a small return capsule. This is economically more reasonable than trying to drill down below the ice crust of Europa.

    I still say that Mars is the best shot for finding life outside Earth. Mars has an average temperature of dry ice, which is pretty cold, but does permit liquid to exist in sub-regolith regions. The little water flows seen coming out of crater rims pretty clearly clinches the existence of liquid water. In this sub-regolith region there might exist a microbial ecosystem.


  3. Residents of countries outside the USA cannot view videos on the PBS website or hulu, looks like its off to thepiratebay. Pity because this is such a great series I would happily watch ads to sponsor the show.

  4. I caught both episodes, back to back, on PBS last night… Was VERY tired after a long day doing paint prep (Dzzz) but figured it worth staying up for? IT WAS! EYE CANDY and thought provoking… Who can deny that the universe is alive?

  5. The simulations were interesting, but I also think potentially misleading. The Kuiper belt was depicted as packed full of objects. It resembled the asteroid belt in the Star Wars “Empire Strike’s Back,” when Solo et al escaped and nearly got munched by an asteroid worm — or what ever that was. Of course if you were there at any time in the past you would be lucky to see anything with the naked eye.


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