60 Second adventures in thought: astronomy, planetary sciences and particle accelerators

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Physical Sciences


We have recently had an outstanding success with animated short-form videos for the web, holding ALL 10 of the global top 10 downloads on iTunes University channel. The subject matter was the history of English, narrated by Clive Anderson and the tone is humorous but informative. We followed this up with Sixty Second Adventures in Thought, narrated by the comedian David Mitchell, covering philosophical topics. We propose to extend this extremely popular animated series to astronomy, planetary science and particle accelerators.

Topics will include: what is dark matter? What is dark energy? Black holes - what would it feel like to fall into one? Event horizons. Relativity. The Big Bang explained in 60 seconds. What is a supernova? How can the Moon be rotating and yet we still see one side? Resonances in the Solar System. What would happen if I stuck my hand in the LHC? Herschel and invisible light. The cosmic microwave background. Suppose we found life on Mars? Finding another Earth.


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