Friday, February 28, 2014

Life on Two Alien Worlds

Today on Far Future Horizons  we will explore two imaginary worlds - Aurelia and the Blue Moon and the strange and wonderful alien lifeforms that inhabit them. 

“Extraterrestrial” is a two-hour science special which brings imaginary aliens and their entire biosphere to life as some of the world’s leading astrobiologists and astronomers report from the Planetary Investigation Lab – where two new planets have been identified.

Aurelia and the Blue Moon may be fictitious worlds but scientists believe that worlds like these could exist and sustain life.

Secrets of the Stone Age 3 – The Human Story

In the final episode of the Secrets of the Stone Age - The Human Story, Richard Rudgley takes a look at the Middle Palaeolithic, from 200,000 to 38,000 years ago, and a close examination of the Neanderthal, a highly intelligent creature which existed alongside our ancestors just 30,000 years ago, give or take. 

Neanderthal has been hugely misrepresented as a dumb creature, but they made sophisticated tools - sometimes better than our own - buried their dead, made necklaces and other ornaments and even interbred with human beings.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nemesis: The Sun's Evil Twin

Today on Far Future Horizons join the hunt in search of the Sun’s evil twin – Nemesis. The second instalment of the sixth season of the acclaimed documentary series The Universe explores the possibility that an unseen companion orbits the Sun.

Could there be a monstrous, undiscovered star orbiting our own Sun beyond the Kuiper belt? Could it be scattering killer comets throughout our Solar System like clockwork every 26 million years? 

New scientific surveys are probing the edges of our Solar System, a realm populated by giant worlds and giant icy planetoids in the hunt for Nemesis, the Sun's purported evil twin. 

How Beer Saved the World

Today on Far Future Horizons we present –“How Beer Saved the World”.

Did you know that beer was critical to the birth of civilization? That’s right – beer.
Scientists and historians line up to tell the amazing, untold story of how beer helped create math, poetry, pyramids, modern medicine, labour laws, and America.

Secrets of the Stone Age 2 - Frozen In Time

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the second episode of the acclaimed three-part documentary series "Secrets of the Stone Age" in which anthropologist and author Richard Rudgley sets off on an epic journey back in time and around the world to discover the real roots of civilization.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Universe - Pulsars and Quasars

Today on Far Future Horizons we explore two of the most intriguing astronomical objects discovered in the nineteen sixties namely, Pulsars and Quasars.

The first pulsar was observed in July 1967 by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish. And created an initial flurry of excitement when the radio pulses emanating from these enigmatic objects where artificial signals coming from an extraterrestrial civilization. In fact the first pulsar discovered was briefly designated LGM-1 for little green men.

Later it dawned on Astronomers that these pulsating objects were in fact the remnants of the incredibly compressed cores of massive stars left over after their demise in a supernova explosion.

The word "pulsar" is a contraction of "pulsating star", and first appeared in print in 1968:

An entirely novel kind of star came to light on Aug. 6 last year and was referred to, by astronomers, as LGM (Little Green Men). Now it is thought to be a novel type between a white dwarf and a neutron [sic]. The name Pulsar is likely to be given to it. Dr. A. Hewish told me yesterday: "… I am sure that today every radio telescope is looking at the Pulsars."

The suggestion that pulsars were rotating neutron stars was put forth independently by Thomas Gold and Franco Pacini in 1968, and was soon proven beyond reasonable doubt by the discovery of a pulsar with a very short (33-millisecond) pulse period in the Crab nebula.

In 1974, Antony Hewish became the first astronomer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. Considerable controversy is associated with the fact that Professor Hewish was awarded the prize while Bell, who made the initial discovery while she was his Ph.D student, was not.

Quasars (quasi-stellar radio sources) are the incredibly energetic cores of distant galaxies powered by supermassive black holes.

The first quasars were discovered with radio telescopes in the late 1950s. Many were recorded as radio sources with no corresponding visible object. Using small telescopes and the Lovell Telescope as an interferometer, they were shown to have a very small angular size.[4] Hundreds of these objects were recorded by 1960 and published in the Third Cambridge Catalogue as astronomers scanned the skies for the optical counterparts. In 1960, radio source 3C 48 was finally tied to an optical object. Astronomers detected what appeared to be a faint blue star at the location of the radio source and obtained its spectrum. Containing many unknown broad emission lines, the anomalous spectrum defied interpretation — a claim by John Bolton of a large redshift was not generally accepted.

In 1962 a breakthrough was achieved. Another radio source, 3C 273, was predicted to undergo five occultations by the moon. Measurements taken by Cyril Hazard and John Bolton during one of the occultations using the Parkes Radio Telescope allowed Maarten Schmidt to optically identify the object and obtain an optical spectrum using the 200-inch Hale Telescope on Mount Palomar. This spectrum revealed the same strange emission lines. Schmidt realized that these were actually spectral lines of hydrogen redshifted at the rate of 15.8 percent. This discovery showed that 3C 273 was receding at a rate of 47,000 km/s. This discovery revolutionized quasar observation and allowed other astronomers to find redshifts from the emission lines from other radio sources. As predicted earlier by Bolton, 3C 48 was found to have a redshift of 37% the speed of light.

The term quasar was coined by Chinese-born U.S. astrophysicist Hong-Yee Chiu in 1964, in Physics Today, to describe these puzzling objects:

"So far, the clumsily long name 'quasi-stellar radio sources' is used to describe these objects. Because the nature of these objects is entirely unknown, it is hard to prepare a short, appropriate nomenclature for them so that their essential properties are obvious from their name. For convenience, the abbreviated form 'quasar' will be used throughout this paper."

– Hong-Yee Chiu in Physics Today, May, 1964

To learn more about these objects watch today’s exciting video feature from the highly acclaimed television series currently airing on the History Channel - The Universe. 

Supervolcano: The Motion Picture

Doomsday Supervolcano 

Today on Far Future Horizons we present  the motion picture Supervolcano a science docufiction disaster  film that originally aired on March 13th,  2005 on BBC One and on April 10th, 2005 on the Discovery Channel.

The film’s central premise is based on the potential eruption of the volcanic caldera of Yellowstone National Park. Its tagline is "Scientists know it as the deadliest volcano on Earth. You know Yellowstone."

Race to Mars

The Terra Nova carries six astronauts from Earth to Mars

Today on Far Future Horizons we present Race to Mars.

Curiosity: Is There A Parallel Universe?

Today on Far Future Horizons we join award-winning actor Morgan Freeman for a voyage into the realm of parallel universes where the alternate realities of our imagination come alive and Doppelganger versions of ourselves are manifest. Join us on a voyage through the looking glass as we enter the realm of Parallel Universes. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Travel to a Parallel Universe

Today on Far Future Horizons we are going to travel with physicist Dr. Michio Kaku on one of the greatest Sci-Fi expeditions ever conceived. 

In this edition of SciFi Science, Dr. Kaku will design a gateway to a parallel universe where the alternate realities of our imagination come alive and Doppelganger versions of ourselves are manifest.

MIT cosmologist Alan Guth explains his recipe for creating your own universe.

Mars Rising - The Search for Life

Today on Far Future Horizons we will explore one of the most enduring and tantalising questions connected to the red planet. In the sixth and final instalment of the Discovery Channel's landmark television series Mars Rising - The Search For Life. William Shatner narrates this exciting series.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mars Rising - Six Minutes of Terror

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series “Mars Rising” – “Six Minutes of Terror”. William Shatner narrates this exciting series.

Mars is littered with the carcasses of crashed robotic landers and the Martian environment is very unforgiving. Historically there has been a fifty percent failure rate in all previous landings attempts.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Arthur C. Clarke ~ The Man Who Saw The Future

On March 19th, 2008 Arthur C. Clarke went on his final odyssey into the infinite. Today on Far Future Horizons we would like to pay homage to the Man, who inspired three generations of men and women to pursue careers in science and space with his visionary writings.

Sir Arthur was and will always remain the Man Who Saw the Future.

H.G. Wells' First Men in the Moon

Today on Far Future Calling we present H.G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon.

The First Men in the Moon is a 2010 made for TV drama written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Damon Thomas. It is an adaptation of H. G. Wells’ science fiction novel First Men in the Moon.

The film’s setting begins in July 1969 as ninety year old Julius Bedford tells young Jim the story of how two men made the first journey to the Moon back in 1909.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Prehistoric Megastorms ~ Hypercane

Hypercane viewed from space

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series Prehistoric Megastorms.

Many scientists generally accept the theory that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a ten kilometer wide asteroid, which crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula sixty five million years ago.

This celestial projectile is alleged to have been responsible for wiping out seventy-five percent of all life on earth. But was this asteroid solely responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs?

An impacting body of this size would have released a colossal amount of heat energy into the Earth’s atmosphere generating massive shock waves and winds of unprecedented speed.

Mars Rising - The Human Factor

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series “Mars Rising” – “The Human Factor”. William Shatner narrates this exciting series.

Ancient Superships

Today on Far Future Horizons we are proud to present another episode of the acclaimed History Channel documentary series Ancient Discoveries – Superships.

Extraordinary sailing vessels are examined, including the Khufu funeral ship in Egypt made entirely without metal nails; and a warship that could hold 7000 crewmen. Ancient Discoveries - Superships is a very good documentary which is very well written and very well presented; this documentary is guaranteed to provide the viewer with significant knowledge regarding shipping and shipbuilding in antiquity.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mars Rising - Staying Alive

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the acclaimed documentary series “Mars Rising” – “Staying Alive”. William Shatner narrates this exciting series.


The seas and oceans of our planet have since time immemorial been a familiar but mysterious and alien territory for much of human history. Many myths and legends have appeared from age to age to explain many strange and unfamiliar sightings. Seafarers across the ages and from all cultures have spun tales of sea monsters and mermaids.

Well our epoch is no different. I was recently introduced to a very thought provoking modern day mystery from the depths of Aquatica - Unidentified Submerged Objects (USOs).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Prehistoric Megastorms ~ Asteroid Apocalypse

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode from the acclaimed documentary series Prehistoric Megastorms.

This instalment of Prehistoric Megastorms explores the question of whether or not a future Asteroid impact of apocalyptic proportions is a real possibility in the light of past events in our planet’s antediluvian past.

Mars Rising - Rocket Power

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the second episode of “Mars Rising” – “Rocket Power”. William Shatner narrates this exciting series.

The spacecraft that will take a crew to Mars will be assembled—in space. Up to ten rockets will be required to carry equipment and the astronauts to the mothership. The fifty six million-kilometer journey to and from the Red Planet could take up to three years. Will the fuel be thermo-nuclear or super-heated charged particles? Engineers must get it right the first time—or the astronauts will die.

Electric Ion Mars Spacecraft by Winchell Chung from Disney's Mars and Beyond


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

Today on Far Future Calling we are proud to present a BBC television movie adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World produced in 1980.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The End of the World?

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.” 

~ Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Today on Far Future Horizons we join host Dallas Campbell as he delves into the Horizon archive sto find out how scientists have tried to predict the end of the world, from natural disasters to killer diseases and asteroid impact. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Meteor - The Motion Picture

In the early morning hours of February 15th, 2013 a meteorite exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk with the explosive yield of thirty of the Hiroshima atomic bombs. Luckily only 1,500 people were hurt and suffered only minor injuries. Next time it happens the death toll may be colossal.

Today on Far Future Horizons we mark the first anniversary of the Chelyabinsk Event by presenting the SciFi disaster film Meteor (1979).

The title of this film is somewhat inapt. A meteorite can reach the ground and depending where it lands can wreak havoc. Meteors burn up in the upper atmosphere and cause no harm. On the other hand a meteorite exploding above a major or impacting an urban area would be a major disaster to put it lightly.

This disaster scenario can no longer be treated as mere science fiction fancy. Asteroids, comets and other space debris do indeed pose a very real threat to our planet. Here is Hollywood’s solution to such a threat.

Things to Come (1936)

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the 1936 film classic Things to Come.

Things to Come is one of my most favourite motion pictures of all time. It is a Wellsian future history based on Wells' 1933 novel ‘The Shape of Things to Come’. The full text of the novel (in various e-text formats, including Amazon Kindle)  can be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg in Australia.

Things to Come is a 1936 British science fiction film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The screenplay was written by H. G. Wells and is a loose adaptation of his own 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come and his 1931 non-fiction work, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind. The film stars Raymond Massey.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Galileo's Battle for the Heavens

Today on Far Future Horizons we commemorate the 450th anniversary of Galileo’s Birth on February 15th, 1564 with  a two-hour NOVA documentary special titled "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens" which celebrates his life and achievements. Galileo Galilei is the father of modern Astronomy and this documentary is about his epic struggle to get Church authorities to accept the truth of his astonishing discoveries. 

This documentary is based on Dava Sobel's bestselling book, “Galileo's Daughter”, which reveals a new side to the famously stubborn scientist—that his closest confidante was his illegitimate daughter, Sister Maria Celeste, a cloistered nun.

Ancient Discoveries - Chinese Super Ships

Today on Far Future Horizons we present another exciting episode of the History Channel’s acclaimed documentary series “Ancient Discoveries” where we will meet the master shipbuilders of Imperial China.

These master shipbuilders of the Far East created the most deadly warships of ancient times in their quest for supremacy of the seas.

This installment of Ancient Discoveries uncovers the extraordinary ingenuity of the ancient engineers whose innovations would take shipbuilding to new heights and create some of the largest and most fearsome navies of the ancient world. Could this very same ancient Chinese naval technology have transformed China into a nascent naval power with the ability to discover and colonize the new world some seventy years before Christopher Columbus set sail into the unknown and discovered America?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Secrets of the Space Probes & Alien Planet

Daedalus star probe design from a British Interplanetary Society study completed in the late 1970s. Credit: © David A. Hardy at

Today on Far Future Horizons we present a double video feature concerning the future of those pathfinding and intrepid robotic explorers known as Space Probes.

Space probes are the robotic scouts of space exploration and are paving the way for the age when humans eventually venture forth and explore the other worlds of our solar system and beyond.

They have discovered water on other planets, and snatched the actual building blocks of life from a comet’s tail. But can space probes find a new Earth or even make contact with alien life?

In the twenty-first century, space probes are currently photographing, drilling the crust and even sniffing the air of alien worlds in the quest for life, and scanning thousands of distant suns trying to detect Earth-like planets. It’s only a matter of time before space probes unlock the secrets to extra-terrestrial life and the universe itself.

Today’s feature documentaries are the fifth season episode of the highly acclaimed documentary series “The Universe – Secrets of the Space Probes” currently airing on the History Channel and the highly acclaimed Discovery Channel Special “Alien Planet” which premiered on May 14, 2005. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Göbekli Tepe - The World’s First Temple

We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities and later to writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization.

The 11,500 year old Göbekli Tepe temple complex in Turkey was unearthed in 1995 by a team of archaeologists led by Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute of Istanbul. 

Göbekli Tepe represents one of the most exciting discoveries in Turkish archaeology this century. It currently stands as the oldest known Megalithic Temple complex in the world (9,000 BC). 

This archaeological find could represent the one location in time and space where humanity first lit the spark of civilization that led mankind towards farming, urban life and all that followed. It is the one great find of the Twentieth Century that could rewrite the whole of human history.

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the National Geographic Channel’s documentary Lost Civilization and join a team of archaeologists to unearth the treasures of this mysterious and enigmatic archaeological site.