playlist

Live out your sci-fi dreams

Imagine a life living among the stars, traversing the universe, interacting with aliens ...

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  1. 6:57
    Carter Emmart A 3D atlas of the universe

    For the last 12 years, Carter Emmart has been coordinating the efforts of scientists, artists and programmers to build a complete 3D visualization of our known universe. He demos this stunning tour and explains how it's being shared with facilities around the world.

  2. 15:53
    Jane Poynter Life in Biosphere 2

    Jane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2 — an experience that provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of environments.

  3. 13:47
    Nagin Cox What time is it on Mars?

    Nagin Cox is a first-generation Martian. As a spacecraft engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cox works on the team that manages the United States' rovers on Mars. But working a 9-to-5 on another planet — whose day is 40 minutes longer than Earth's — has particular, often comical challenges.

  4. 12:38
    Monica Byrne A sci-fi vision of love from a 318-year-old hologram

    Science fiction writer Monica Byrne imagines rich worlds populated with characters who defy our racial, social and gender stereotypes. In this performance, Byrne appears as a hologram named Pilar, transmitting a story of love and loss back to us from a near future when humans have colonized the universe. "It's always funny what you think the future is going to be like versus what it turns out to be," she says.

  5. 5:20
    Sarah Parcak Archaeology from space

    In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archaeology" — using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.

  6. 6:38
    Jeremy Kasdin The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets

    Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them — yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

  7. 6:06
    Carrie Nugent Adventures of an asteroid hunter

    TED Fellow Carrie Nugent is an asteroid hunter — part of a group of scientists working to discover and catalog our oldest and most numerous cosmic neighbors. Why keep an eye out for asteroids? In this short, fact-filled talk, Nugent explains how their awesome impacts have shaped our planet, and how finding them at the right time could mean nothing less than saving life on Earth.

  8. 10:39
    James Green 3 moons and a planet that could have alien life

    Is there life beyond Earth? Join NASA's director of planetary science James Green for a survey of the places in our solar system that are most likely to harbor alien life.

  9. 16:26
    Andrea Ghez The hunt for a supermassive black hole

    With new data from the Keck telescopes, Andrea Ghez shows how state-of-the-art adaptive optics are helping astronomers understand our universe's most mysterious objects: black holes. She shares evidence that a supermassive black hole may be lurking at the center of the Milky Way.

  10. 21:47
    Brian Greene Is our universe the only universe?

    Is there more than one universe? In this visually rich, action-packed talk, Brian Greene shows how the unanswered questions of physics (starting with a big one: What caused the Big Bang?) have led to the theory that our own universe is just one of many in the "multiverse."