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A Moment in the Sun: The Terrestrial Planets

Series 1 - Episode 1 A Moment in the Sun: The Terrestrial Planets



Buckle up for an astronomy lesson (first shown in 2019) that whizzes us through the history of the solar system. Physicist Brian Cox is our intergalactic guide, investigating the pasts of our “rocky” planetary neighbours — Mercury, Mars and Venus. The relationship between sun and planet is intriguing, especially when Cox details the miracles that make life on Earth possible. 

He also draws our attention to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, where, like Earth, there are the correct ingredients for life to exist. The science can feel too complex, but it’s a stark reminder of how phenomenal our presence on this planet is, and the sheer vastness of the cosmos. 


Professor Brian Cox tells the life story of the solar system, beginning with the development of the four rocky worlds closest to the Sun - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. They were born at the same time from the same material - yet have lived radically different lives. What immense forces are at play?

Cast & Crew

Presenter Professor Brian Cox
Director Martin Johnson
Editor Louise Salkow
Executive Producer Andrew Cohen
Series Producer Gideon Bradshaw