How the Universe Works
A users' guide to the cosmos, from the Big Bang to galaxies, stars, planets and moons: where did it all come from and how does it all fit together? A primer for anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered.
Where to Watch How the Universe Works
Where to stream every episode from all 6 seasons of How the Universe Works. Filter these episodes by what's available to watch free or on your streaming services using the tabs above.
Season 1Amazon Prime | Science | Rent or Buy
S01 E01Apr 26, 2010
Big Bang Apr 26, 2010 The programme investigates how the Universe came into existence out of nothing, and how it grew from a minuscule point, smaller than an atomic particle, to the vast cosmos we see today.
S01 E02May 3, 2010
Black Holes May 3, 2010 Black Holes,the most powerful destroyers in the Universe, the most mysterious phenomena in the heavens. For years they were only speculation, now modern astronomy is proving them frighteningly real and showing that they may well shape everything we see.
S01 E03May 11, 2010
Galaxies May 11, 2010 The evolution of galaxies, from clouds of cold gas floating in space 13 billion years ago, to the vast gravitationally bound systems of today.
S01 E04May 11, 2010
Stars May 11, 2010 Examining the birth of stars, and how their creation changed the cosmos for ever, leading to planets and life itself.
S01 E05May 18, 2010
Extreme Planets May 18, 2010 There are just eight planets in our solar system, but there could be a hundred billion planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone. This show follows the journey of planets as they grow from grains of dust to the magnificently diverse worlds we see today.
S01 E06May 18, 2010
Supernovas May 18, 2010 Stars are not eternal; they are dying in unimaginably large explosions called supernovas. Second only to the Big Bang, these explosions are where creation and destruction meet. Only now have we begun to understand how these wonders in our sky work.
S01 E07May 25, 2010
Solar Systems May 25, 2010 Is our solar system unique? Since the first discovery of a planet orbiting another star, some 280 alien solar systems have been identified. It's only by looking at solar systems far beyond our own, that we can understand how remarkable our universe is.
Season 2Amazon Prime | Science | Rent or Buy
S02 E01Jul 12, 2012
Volcanoes - The Furnaces of Life Jul 12, 2012 Are we alone in the Universe? What makes Earth so different? Part of the answer is our volcanoes. without them we would not be here either. Today we are discovering volcanoes on alien worlds. Are these worlds where, tomorrow, we might find life?
S02 E02Jul 19, 2012
Megastorms - The Winds of Creation Jul 19, 2012 Destructive weather forces are symptoms of Earth's creative energy. In our quest to discover if we are alone in the universe, we shouldn't just look for worlds, we should look for weather; find that megastorm, and maybe we will find alien life.
S02 E03Jul 26, 2012
Exoplanets - Planets from Hell Jul 26, 2012 We once thought that the only planets were in our solar system. We have found many other planets but they are nothing like we expected, from deep-frozen, toxic snowballs, to scorched and boiling nightmares. Is every planet out there a planet fom Hell?
S02 E04Aug 2, 2012
Megaflares - Cosmic Firestorms Aug 2, 2012 The Universe is a magnetic minefield. Spinning star systems crackle and explode, magnetic monsters rip worlds apart, star-quakes shoot beams of devastating energy, and galactic flamethrowers fire gamma-rays half way across the Universe. Will we find Earth in the firing line?
S02 E05Aug 9, 2012
Extreme Orbits - Clockwork and Creation Aug 9, 2012 We owe our existence to the stability of earth's orbit. But we are the freaks: everywhere else we look we find orbits are chaotic, unstable, and violent. Yet on the very largest scale, orbits are also a creative force, even constructing the fabric of the universe itself.
S02 E06Aug 16, 2012
Comets - Frozen Wanderers Aug 16, 2012 As time machines from the early universe, comets could hold the key to unlock the secrets of the cosmos, and may even be the origin of life itself. In this episode, we learn that comets are even more mysterious and fascinating than we had ever imagined.
S02 E07Aug 23, 2012
Asteroids - Worlds That Never Were Aug 23, 2012 Asteroids wiped out the dinosaurs and may be back for us but they also built the Earth and may have brought life to its barren surface. Asteroids will shape our future as much as our past and scientists are striving to unlock their secrets.