Voyager 2, launched in 1977, has already passed by the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, all of which have provided plenty of surprises. Voyager has now passed Neptune, sending back remarkable new information about the outermost planet. Patrick Moore is joined by Dr Garry Hunt and other experts from the American team to summarise what has been discovered about this lonely, remote world.
A look behind the scenes of Nasa's project to study Jupiter. As the spacecraft Juno enters Jupiter's orbit, the programme explores the dangers of the mission and what Nasa is hoping to discover about the giant planet - from the secrets of its formation to the source of the solar system's most powerful aurora.
Astronomers have been fascinated by the idea of the Star of Bethlehem for centuries. Did it exist? And if so, what was it? The list of candidates includes some of the most exciting objects in the night sky - supernovae, comets, meteors and unusual alignments of the giant planets. In this surprising and entertaining Christmas special the Sky at Night team go in search of the potential causes of the Star of Bethlehem. The team explore the possibilities, investigating the nature of the phenomena and digging through the historical records including Babylonian clay tablets and ancient Chinese manuscripts, to reconstruct events in the night sky 2,000 years ago. Maggie Aderin-Pocock goes hunting for supernovae using the most powerful laser in Britain, and discovers that these mighty explosions caused by the death of stars can shine brighter than the moon in our sky. Chris Lintott reconstructs the night sky over Jerusalem at the time of Jesus's birth, discovering a once-in-a-millennium conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter that was first suggested as a cause of the star by the great astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1604.
We think of volcanoes as some of the most powerful natural phenomena on earth - but they are nothing compared to the volcanoes we find elsewhere in the solar system. This month's Sky at Night reveals the weird and wonderful world of volcanism on other planets and moons - from the giant extinct volcanoes of Mars to the tantalising possibility of continuing eruptions on Venus, and from the vast sulphur plumes of Io to the mysterious cryovolcanoes of Enceladus.
The team looks at the dynamic nature of the universe, winding its timeline backwards and forwards to reveal how the night sky changes over time. We see how different the night sky looked in the past and how it will be transformed billions of years into the future as the stars migrate and galaxies collide. Broadcast from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the team explores the latest theories on solar system evolution - how the familiar layout of today's solar system was created by a gravitational dance between the giant planets that left scars we can still see today.