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The Thin Blue Line

Professor Brian Cox reveals how something as flimsy as an envelope of gas - an atmosphere - can create some of the most wondrous sights in the solar system.

Professor Brian Cox reveals how something as flimsy as an envelope of gas - an atmosphere - can create some of the most wondrous sights in the solar system. He takes a ride in an English Electric Lightning and flies 18 km up to the top of earth's atmosphere, where he sees the darkness of space above and the thin blue line of our atmosphere below. In the Namib desert in south-west Africa, he tells the story of Mercury. This tiny planet was stripped naked of its early atmosphere and is fully exposed to the ferocity of space.

Against the stunning backdrop of the glaciers of Alaska, Brian reveals his fourth wonder: Saturn's moon Titan, shrouded by a murky, thick atmosphere. He reveals that below the clouds lies a magical world. Titan is the only place beyond earth where we've found liquid pooling on the surface in vast lakes, as big as the Caspian Sea, but the lakes of Titan are filled with a mysterious liquid, and are quite unlike anything on earth.

1 hour

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Brian Cox
Director Chris Holt
Series Producer Danielle Peck
Executive Producer Andrew Cohen

Broadcasts

  • Sun 21 Mar 2010 21:00
  • Tue 23 Mar 2010 19:00
  • Wed 24 Mar 2010 00:10
  • Sat 24 Apr 2010 20:00
  • Sun 25 Apr 2010 02:20
  • Thu 20 May 2010 01:15
  • Thu 20 May 2010 01:45
  • Wed 6 Oct 2010 23:50
  • Tue 23 Nov 2010 19:00
  • Wed 24 Nov 2010 01:00
  • Sat 27 Nov 2010 17:15
  • Wed 29 Dec 2010 19:00
  • Wed 13 Apr 2011 00:20
  • Wed 13 Apr 2011 00:30
  • Mon 30 Jan 2012 23:00
  • Thu 21 Jun 2012 20:00
  • Fri 22 Jun 2012 01:40
  • Sat 23 Jun 2012 23:50
  • Wed 11 Feb 2015 23:00