Segments in this Video

Other Earths (04:54)


Another Earth should be able to support Earth-like life. Other Earths would not have to be carbon copies of Earth as we know it. Exoplanets are those outside the solar system; most are gas giants. Researchers make models of what other worlds could look like.

Evidence of Life on Distant Planets (05:10)

Scientists look for signs of gasses as evidence of at least the potential of life on other planets. They use high resolution spectrometers to detect chemical composition of distant atmospheres. Liquid water is the essential element for life anywhere.

Mathematical Calculations for other Intelligent Life (07:11)

Complex life, particularly Earth-like animal life, may be extremely rare in the universe. Earth's unique plate tectonics as well as a gas giant like Jupiter, provide Earth with unique qualities unlikely to be found elsewhere.

Technical Challenges of Seeing Other Earths (03:43)

A small planet orbiting a bright star is nearly impossible to see even with the most technologically advanced equipment. The transit method indicates the path of a planet across its star. The radio velocity method is another means of "seeing" exoplanets.

Discovery of Exoplanets (05:26)

A star's metallicity is the proportion of metal in its composition. The discovery of exoplanets is a relatively new phenomenon in science. It is possible that some of them might be inhabitable. Most exoplanets found are not at all Earth-like.

Astronomers Discover Super-Earths (03:08)

Among the candidates for Earth-like exoplanets are the red dwarf stars Gliese 581-C and Gliese 581-D, 20 thousand light years from Earth. HD69830 d is the outermost known planet in its planetary system and possibly lies within its habitable zone.

Mars and Venus: Failed Earths (05:48)

Mars and Venus may be considered "failed Earths." In the evolution of the solar system, both might have become habitable like Earth. The nearest possibility for an Earth-like plant is in Alpha Centauri.

NASA Survey Projects: Kepler (02:55)

In 2009 NASA launches the Kepler Project that searches the skies for planets similar to Earth. Its telescope "stares" continuously at the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, taking millions of pictures.

Terrestrial Planet Finder (03:43)

Terrestrial Planet Finder is a mission concept currently under study by NASA. TPF would study all aspects of exoplanets: from their formation and development in disks of dust and gas around newly forming stars to their suitability as abodes for life.

Credits: Another Earth (01:10)

Credits: Another Earth

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Another Earth

Part of the Series : The Universe
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



This program quantifies the life-sustaining conditions for a planet such as Earth. One planet among trillions, is Earth truly unique? Distributed by A&E Television Networks. A part of the series The Universe. (45 minutes)

Length: 45 minutes

Item#: BVL43136

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.