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Beyond the Rainbow

Helen Czerski looks at the colours invisible to our eyes. To see the universe in a new light, she takes to the skies in a jet equipped with an infrared telescope.

We live in a world ablaze with colour. Rainbows and rainforests, oceans and humanity, earth is the most colourful place we know of. But the colours we see are far more complex and fascinating than they appear. In this series, Dr Helen Czerski uncovers what colour is, how it works, and how it has written the story of our planet.

The colours that we see are only a fraction of what's out there. Beyond the rainbow there are colours invisible to our eyes. In this episode, Helen tells the story of scientific discovery. To see the universe in a whole new light, she takes to the skies in a NASA jumbo jet equipped with a 17-tonne infrared telescope.

We can't see in ultraviolet, but many animals can. Helen explores what the world looks like to the birds and the bees. With the discovery of x-rays we could look inside ourselves in ways that previously had only been possible after death. Today those same x-rays allow us to examine life at the atomic level, helping to develop new drugs and better materials. Ultimately, by harnessing all the colours there are, researchers are beginning to image the human body as never before, revealing new ways to treat disease.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 27 Apr 2021 00:40

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Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:43


    50 - Ballzauber! (Teil 26)


Role Contributor
Presenter Helen Czerski
Executive Producer Jacqueline Smith
Series Producer Graeme Thomson
Director Toby Macdonald
Producer Toby Macdonald


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