Wonders of the Universe - imagesThis post has just gotten started; now watching the first episode in its entirety after already being blown away by the first third of it as well as by watching A Cosmological Fantasia — a short film based on art and photography from BBC’s must-see Wonders Of The Universe (with music by Timo Baker).

Please check back soon for the full post, a few sample images, and our review of episode one.

As always, thanks for reading…

Wonders Of The Universe: Official product description
Wonders of the Universe - images

Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we come from? These are among the most enduring and profound questions we can ask, and it is an essential part of human nature to want to find the answers. We can trace our ancestry back hundreds of thousands of years to the dawn of humankind, but in reality our story extends much further back: it starts with the beginning of the universe. Our universe began 13.7 billion years ago, and today it is filled with over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars and a breathtaking array of wonders. In this groundbreaking BBC series, Professor Brian Cox tells the epic story of the universe and shows how its story is also our story. (Source: Amazon)

Wonders of the Universe: Season one episodes

space, astronomy: spiral galaxy photo"Destiny"
Summary: This episode delves into the nature of time; the cycles of time that define the lives of humans on Earth in contrast to the cycles of time on a cosmic scale; the Second Law of Thermodynamics and its effect on time; the "heat death" of the universe; U.S. broadcast originally aired on August 3, 2011 with the different title Cosmos Made Conscious.

Comments: A great episode for all of humanity, especially people interested in cosmology, astronomy, space, philosophy, and even the principle of perspective

Wonders of the Universe - imagesIn this episode, Cox discusses the elements of which all living things, including humans, are made. He explores the beginnings of the universe and the origins of humanity, going far back in time to look at the process of stellar evolution. He explains how these basic elements are related to the life cycles of the stars and the recycling of matter in the Universe, touching down in Katmandu and Rio de Janeiro. The US broadcast was originally aired on July 27, 2011, and was titled “Children of the Stars.”

Wonders of the Universe - imagesThis episode documents how gravity has an effect across the universe, and how the relatively weak force creates an orbit. We also see how a neutron star’s gravity works. Finally, there is a look back at how research on gravity has enabled us to better understand the cosmos. The US broadcast was originally aired on August 10, 2011 and was titled “The Known and the Unknown.”

Playing for Change – Peace to the World Through Music (The Daily Lama): If you like acoustic guitar and/or are interested in world peace, do yourself a favor and check out these guitarists…

Wonders of the Universe - imagesThe final episode shows how the unique properties of light provide an insight into the origins and development of mankind and the Universe. Cox demonstrates how the speed of light allows scientists to measure distance and time with a trip in a fighter jet that they use to break the sound barrier. The US broadcast originally aired on August 17, 2011 and was titled “On Beams of Light.”

Resources: Wonders of the Universe (BBC)

Reviews of Wonders of the Universe (BBC)

Wonders of the Universe, BBC Two, review

Resources: Similar content

List of documentary films available for viewing at Top Documentary Films website

Streaming video


Wonders of the Universe, S0101

Other interesting science documentaries re: cosmology

  • Wonders of the Solar System (BBC): Wikipedia entry for 2010 award-winning BBC documentary preceding Wonders of the Universe — Award-winning 2010 television series co-produced by the BBC and Science Channel, hosted by physicist Brian Cox; first broadcast in the UK on BBC Two in March 2010; contains five episodes, each of which focuses on an aspect of the solar system and features a ‘wonder’ relevant to the theme; was described as one of the most successful documentaries to appear on BBC Two in recent years; won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in documentary film-making
  • Known Universe: The Fastest: With riveting footage, Known Universe: The Fastest explores interstellar travel, wormholes and black holes and re-examines Einstein’s theories which might hint at the existence of portals that could reach through the very fabric of space and time.

    Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein, The

    Frontiers of Deep Space

    Who’s Afraid of a Big Black Hole

    Violent Universe

    Poetry of Science, The (Discussion)

    Other potentially interesting documentaries (Other than cosmology)

    Crash Course: Biology – And thus begins the most revolutionary biology course in history. Come and learn about covalent, ionic, and hydrogen bonds. What about electron orbitals, the octet rule, and what does it all have to do with a mad man named Gilbert Lewis? It’s all contained within.

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