The Planets

About

Among the stars in the night sky wander the eight-plus worlds of our own solar system — each home to truly awe-inspiring sights – volcanoes three times higher than Everest, geysers erupting with icy plumes, cyclones larger than Earth lasting hundreds of years. Each of our celestial neighbors has a distinct personality and a unique story.

In this five-part series, NOVA will explore the awesome beauty of The Planets, including Saturn’s 175,000-mile-wide rings, Mars’ ancient waterfalls four times the size of any found on Earth, and Neptune’s winds — 12 times stronger than any hurricane felt on our planet. Using unique special effects and extraordinary footage captured by orbiters, landers and rovers, NOVA treats viewers to an up-close look at these faraway worlds.

Airdates

Premieres Wednesday, July 24, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

The Planets: Inner Worlds
Wednesday, July 24, at 9pm on ThinkTV16
Tuesday, July 30, at 9pm on ThinkTV14

The rocky planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – were born of similar material around the same time, yet only one supports life. Were Earth’s neighbors always so extreme? Is there somewhere else in the solar system where life might flourish?

The Planets: Mars
Wednesday, July 24, at 10pm on ThinkTV16
Tuesday, July 30, at 10pm on ThinkTV14

Mars was once a blue water world studded with active volcanoes. But when its magnetic field and protective atmosphere faded, it became the frozen desert planet we know today. With so many necessary elements in place, did life ever form on Mars?

The Planets: Jupiter
Wednesday, July 31, at 9pm on ThinkTV16
Tuesday, August 6, at 9pm on ThinkTV14

Jupiter’s massive gravitational force made it a wrecking ball when it barreled through the early solar system. But it also shaped life on Earth, delivering comets laden with water – and perhaps even the fateful asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The Planets: Saturn
Wednesday, August 7, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

The series continues its journey on to Saturn’s 175,000-mile-wide rings; to the mysterious ice giant, Uranus; and all the way out to the lonely, mysterious Neptune — the last planet in the cold, remote reaches of our solar system, where winds blow 12 times stronger than the raging hurricanes felt on Earth.

The Planets: Ice Worlds
Wednesday, August 14, at 9pm on ThinkTV16

It’s off to the Kuiper Belt – home to Pluto and countless other enigmatic objects. Viewers explore what it’s like to stand on the dark side of our favorite dwarf planet, Pluto, as it eclipses a tiny, distant star – our sun. As the series concludes, we ask: what new discoveries await us in this remarkable region of the Milky Way we call home?