The Best Episodes of The Sky At Night

Since April 1957, Sir Patrick Moore (1923=2012) has presented The Sky at Night. Airing a new episode every month, the show continues to explore our solar system and beyond. It is the longest running science show on TV. Many famous people have appeared on The Sky at Night, among them: Harlow Shapley, Carl Sagan and Jocelyn Bell-Burnell. Also many astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Most of the early episodes no longer exist on film.

The Billion Pixel Camera

#1 - The Billion Pixel Camera

Season 2015 - Episode 1

The Milky Way, our galaxy, is a magnificent sight in the night sky, but we know surprisingly little about it for certain. What is its shape? How many stars does it actually contain? What lies at its centre? The Gaia space telescope will answer these questions, being armed with the most advanced camera to leave our planet, and it will allow us to see our galaxy as we've never seen it before. The Sky at Night visits the factory in Chelmsford that made the astonishing sensor at the heart of the mission.

star 9.50
2 votes
Rosetta: A Sky at Night Special

#2 - Rosetta: A Sky at Night Special

Season 2014 - Episode 10

It is one of the most extraordinary space adventures in a generation - to land a spacecraft on a comet. The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft has been hurtling through space for over 10 years, tracking down a comet called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Now it is about to do something that has never been attempted before and land a spacecraft on the comet's surface. This special episode of The Sky at Night puts the viewer right at the heart of the action, witnessing events as they happened from inside mission control. It reveals the latest images, explores the first groundbreaking science coming back from the comet and asks the astonishing questions that make this mission so captivating. Could Earth's water have come from comets? How do comets survive for so long? Could they have triggered the start of life on Earth? The journey has been fraught with risk and at every stage the comet seems to surprise, but if the mission succeeds it will be a momentous day in the history of space exploration.

star 9.00
4 votes
Citizen Astronomy

#3 - Citizen Astronomy

Season 2012 - Episode 3

A look at how amateur astronomers can help in the quest for knowledge of the cosmos.

star 8.75
4 votes
Age of the Infrared

#4 - Age of the Infrared

Season 2012 - Episode 2

Space telescopes such as Herschel and Spitzer are peering at the dusty, dark cosmos and with their infrared eyes they can see the cold parts of the sky where stars are being born. Sir Patrick Moore discusses why the infrared is full of hidden delights, whilst Dr Chris North talks to Dr Amy Mainzer about NASA's infrared WISE telescope.

star 8.33
3 votes
Orion the Hunter

#5 - Orion the Hunter

Season 2011 - Episode 2

The great winter constellation of Orion is easily visible, with its ruby red star Betelgeuse and distinctive shape. It is also home to the Orion nebula, our nearest stellar nursery, where thousands of stars are being born. Sir Patrick Moore and the Sky at Night team take us on a tour of this magnificent constellation and its jewels.

star 8.00
3 votes
Double Star Party

#6 - Double Star Party

Season 2011 - Episode 4

Sir Patrick Moore joins an unlikely star party in the heart of London, where enthusiastic astronomers are cutting through the light pollution to see the planets and stars. Dr Chris Lintott also drops in on another star party - the 88th birthday celebrations for the nation's most famous astronomer.

star 8.00
2 votes
Other Solar Systems

#7 - Other Solar Systems

Season 2012 - Episode 1

We now know there are other solar systems far away in space, but are they like ours and is there life on these strange worlds? Sir Patrick Moore goes on the quest for little green men.

star 8.00
3 votes
Storm Chasing

#8 - Storm Chasing

Season 2011 - Episode 5

In the atmosphere of Saturn there is a gigantic storm, which is bigger than Earth itself. This month Sir Patrick Moore looks at the ringed planet, which can be seen in our night sky now. He talks to Paul Abel and Dr Chris North about these violent eruptions in the atmospheres of other worlds. And Jon Culshaw, Dr Lucie Green and Pete Lawrence travel to north Norway in search of the aurora borealis.

star 8.00
2 votes
Final Frontier

#9 - Final Frontier

Season 2011 - Episode 9

The future of manned space flight is entering an uncertain phase, with our once vivid dreams of returning to the Moon and landing on Mars shattered by budget cuts and lack of will. Sir Patrick Moore discusses the demise of the shuttle programme with astronaut Piers Sellers, and also goes on an interstellar journey with Project Icarus, the visionary idea of how man might one day visit other worlds.

star 8.00
3 votes
The Moore Marathon

#10 - The Moore Marathon

Season 2012 - Episode 5

The Sky at Night celebrates 55 years with the second of its special programmes. Sir Patrick picked out 55 objects in the April sky and asked viewers to take part in his Moore Marathon. He finds out how everyone got on, with help from the team.

star 7.50
2 votes
Curiosity at Mars

#11 - Curiosity at Mars

Season 2012 - Episode 9

The NASA rover, Curiosity, the size of a small car and nuclear-powered, landed on Mars in August and took its first view of the red planet. This ambitious mission hopes to find the building blocks of life as well as study the Martian climate and geology. Sir Patrick Moore discusses what Curiosity will be doing, as well as what to see in the September night sky.

star 7.33
3 votes
The Stars Indoors

#12 - The Stars Indoors

Season 2011 - Episode 7

Sir Patrick Moore visits the South Downs Planetarium and discovers how the stars appeared to the ancient Egyptians, whilst Pete Lawrence explains what to look out for in the summer night sky.

star 7.00
2 votes
Interstellar:  The Journey to Proxima Centauri

#13 - Interstellar: The Journey to Proxima Centauri

Season 2016 - Episode 7

Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock report on the recent discovery of a planet with similar qualities to Earth orbiting Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our solar system. The programme examines what the environment of this world might be like and the logistics of building a spacecraft capable of travelling 4.23 light years to reach it.

star 7.00
3 votes
The Story of Stuff

#14 - The Story of Stuff

Season 2012 - Episode 11

Sir Patrick Moore, Dr Chris Lintott and Dr Chris North find out what the universe is made of, from the 'dark matter' that shapes our galaxies to the infinitesimally small particles that make up atoms. Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel show how to use a planisphere as a guide to the night sky and what objects can be ticked off on the 'Moore Winter Marathon'.

star 7.00
3 votes
They Fall to Earth

#15 - They Fall to Earth

Season 2013 - Episode 4

Meteorites regularly hit Earth, although most go undetected. Occasionally a big meteorite collides with Earth and when it does, it can cause devastation. Lucie Green and Chris Lintott visit the Natural History Museum to look at its meteorite collection and discuss the recent Russian impact. Jon Culshaw goes on a meteorite hunt, while Pete Lawrence and Paul Abel give their beginners' guide on how to look at Saturn.

star 6.67
3 votes
The Sun King

#16 - The Sun King

Season 2013 - Episode 2

The team are at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, to see how the sun affects our planet.

star 6.67
3 votes