Not many of us are going to have a chance to look back at Earth from a space shuttle or travel to a different planet. But over the first week of the New Year, SBS brings you a series of documentaries that allow you to do just that from the comfort of your own couch.
With a focus on our planet and the galaxy around us, these eight visually stunning docos display the beauty and fragility of our world, as well as its place in the bigger picture of outer space. Here’s the line-up in full:
‘Earth from Space’
This one pretty much does what it says on the box – taking an astronaut's eye view of our planet. Earth from Space had been made in consultation with NASA and features dazzling visual sequences exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on Earth.
Sunday 31 December at 8:30pm on SBS
‘Meteor Strike: Fireball from Space’
Five years ago, on 15 February, 2013, a meteor burst into the atmosphere, exploding in Siberia with the power of 30 Hiroshima bombs. This doco follows scientists in Russia as they determine where the meteor came from and compares this explosion with others in the past, including the asteroid that brought about the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Monday 1 January at 8:30pm on SBS
‘Man Made Planet’
Astronauts have been taking photos of Earth from space for 45 years – and in that time, the changes to our planet are quite noticeable, even at such a distance. Using time-lapse sequences, Man Made Planet show how humans have impacted our environment on a global scale.
Tuesday 2 January at 8:30pm on SBS
Volcanoes are an awe-inspiring and potentially devastating part of Earth's structure. But they pale into comparison next to the volcanoes on other planets, including the ice volcanoes of Jupiter's frigid moons to ancient Martian super-volcanoes. Space Volcanoes uses a combination of CGI and images taken in space to recreate the spectacular and dramatic formations found on our neighbouring planets and beyond.
Wednesday 3 January at 7:30pm on SBS
‘Strange Signals From Outer Space!’
Is there anybody out there? That's the question humans have asked for generations. And very recently, mysterious signals have been detected from the depths of space. What are these "Fast Radio Bursts" and who (or what) is sending them? This doco examines the efforts to understand the signals and puts them in the context of our continued effort to make contact with extraterrestrial life.
Wednesday 3 January at 8:30pm on SBS
‘Mars: A Traveller’s Guide’
Think of this as TripAdvisor: Mars Edition. We've never known as much about our next-door neighbour, and this special makes use of the plethora of maps, surface photos and information about Mars to put together a guide to the red planet. With the prospect of humans setting foot on Mars a possibility in our lifetime, this shows us what we can expect once we get there.
Thursday 4 January at 8:30pm on SBS
Human Planet brings things back down to Earth by looking at some of the extreme environments on our planet and how we have adapted to them – or made them adapt to us. From the Arctic to the deserts, the oceans to the mountains, explore our world by hearing unique stories of human survival accompanied by cinema-quality footage.
Friday 5 January at 7:30pm on SBS
‘Neil Armstrong: First Man on the Moon’
No look at humankind's relationship with outer space would be complete without revisiting the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the surface of the Moon. Five years after his death, this doco speaks to Armstrong's family and friends – many going on the record for the first time – about his amazing life.
Saturday 6 January at 9:30pm on SBS