Wonders of the Solar System: Dead or Alive
In the penultimate programme in this spell-binding series, Professor Brian Cox visits some of the most dramatic locations on Earth to explain how the laws of nature create astonishing natural wonders across the Solar System.
The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. In this episode Brian travels to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as basic as a planet’s size can make the difference between life and death. Even on the summit of this volcano, Brian would stand in the shade of the tallest mountain in the Solar System, an extinct volcano on Mars called Olympus Mons, which rises up 27kms.
Yet the fifth Wonder in the series isn’t on a planet at all. It’s on a tiny moon of Jupiter. The discoveries made on Io have been astonishing. This fragment of rock should be cold and dead, yet, with the volcanic landscape of Eastern Ethiopia as a backdrop, Brian reveals why Io is home to extraodinary lakes of lava and giant volcanic plumes that erupt 500kms into the sky.
Written & Directed by Paul Olding
Assistant Producer: Ben Finney
Series Producer: Danielle Peck
Exec Producer: Andrew Cohen
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