The best space and astronomy programmes on the BBC iPlayer

A guide to the best space and astronomy programmes available to watch on the BBC iPlayer on-demand service.

bbc iplayer astronomy
Published: January 10, 2022 at 12:04 pm
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The Sky at Night is one of the most well-known television programmes in the history of the BBC. Beginning in 1957, each week the late, inimitable Sir Patrick Moore would provide viewers with the latest astronomy and stargazing advice along with news from the worlds of astrophysics and spaceflight.

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Following Patrick's death in 2012, the mantle has been taken up by Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Chris Lintott, who have continued the show's success.

But The Sky at Night is by no means the BBC's only astronomy output. There are plenty of BBC programmes covering practical astronomy, cosmology and spaceflight, much of it available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

Below is a selection just some of the space and astronomy programmes currently available.

Space and astronomy on the BBC iPlayer

Brian Cox

Picture Shows: Professor Brian Cox on location at Stegastein, overlooking Aurlandsfjorden in Norway. Although today Venus is hot and hostile, this has not always been the case. Before our neighbouring planet was gripped by an extreme green house effect, there was water. Much like there is on Earth today.

Adventures in Space and Time

Professor Brian Cox takes a look at some of the burning questions in spaceflight, astronomy and cosmology and asks: just how much can we achieve in our exploration of the Universe?

Human Universe

Astronomy is constantly looking outwards, deep into the cosmos to learn more about the evolution of the Universe and incredible phenomena captured by telescopes and robotic probes. But in this series, Brian Cox takes a look at one of the most incredible phenomena in all of science: the human race.

The Planets

Brian Cox's The Planets explores our cosmic neighbourhood and reveals some of the discoveries that are piecing together the story of how the Solar System came to be.

Horizon

BBC Horizon logo

Man In Space

First broadcast in 1966, this archive episode of Horizon details how astronaut John Glenn became the first American in space.

Mir Mortals

A look at the Soviet space station that was launched in 1986, and how the mission came to a dramatic end.

The Race To Ruin

An archive episode from 1981 showcasing the Cold War paranoia that beset the American space programme, as the USA began to fear the USSR was once again beginning to outperform them.

Tomorrow's World

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The Race To Mars

In this episode first transmitted in 1987, a year after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the team ponder the future of crewed spaceflight.

Panorama

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Apollo 11: The Impact On Earth

This historic broadcast from 1969 marks the moment humans first landed on the surface of the Moon.

The Real War In Space

A 1978 episode of Panorama looking the development of weapons that could operate in space.

Storyville

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The Farthest: Voyager's Interstellar Journey

The story of Voyager, the first mission to perform a reconnaissance of the Solar System.

The Sky at Night

Picture shows: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock at NASA Space Centre, Houston, USA TX: BBC Two Tuesday 1st February 2011
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The long-running BBC astronomy show continues. Need we say more?! For archive episodes and clips and the latest broadcasts, visit The Sky at Night homepage.

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