Today on Discovery Enterprise we continue our whirl wind tour of the wonders of the solar system with episode four of the BBC documentary “Wonders of the Solar System”, presented by Professor Brian Cox.
In this episode we join Dr. Cox in the exploration of the terrestrial planets of the solar system. The worlds that surround our planet are all made of rock, but there the similarity ends. Some have a beating geological heart, others are frozen in time. Today travel to the tallest mountain on Earth, the volcano Mauna Kea on Hawaii, to show how something as basic as a planet’s size can make the difference between life and death. Even on the summit of this volcano, Profesor Cox would stand in the shade of the tallest mountain in the solar system, an extinct volcano on Mars called Olympus Mons, which rises up 27 km.
Yet the fifth wonder in the series isn’t on a planet at all. It’s on a tiny moon of Jupiter. The discoveries made on Io have been astonishing. This fragment of rock should be cold and dead, yet, with the volcanic landscape of eastern Ethiopia as a backdrop, Brian Cox reveals why Io is home to extraordinary lakes of lava and giant volcanic plumes that erupt 500 km into the sky.
Wonders of the Solar System – Dead or Alive