“Seven Ages of Starlight” exposes my failing

I lost an hour and a half of important decorating time to this lovely programme.

This is the epic story of the stars, and how discovering their tale has transformed our own understanding of the universe.

Once we thought the sun and stars were gods and giants. Now we know, in a way, our instincts were right. The stars do all have their own characters, histories and role in the cosmos. Not least, they played a vital part in creating us. There are old, bloated red giants, capable of gobbling up planets in their orbit; explosive deaths – supernovae – that forge the building blocks of life; and black holes, the most mysterious stellar tombstones. And, of course, stars in their prime, like our own sun. Leading astronomers reveal how the grandest drama on tonight is the one playing above our heads. (R)

It’s on iPlayer until the 21st so download and watch if you haven’t already. The science isn’t particularly deep so should be accessible to most people. Lots of footage of the Sun’s surface – which I find captivating – and an explanation of what will happen to our nearest star as it ages. And neutron stars, which I find amazing.

Highlight was my daughter being provoked into saying she didn’t believe in God but also that she didn’t accept we are all built from stardust. Obviously, as a parent I’ve done well in one department but have definitely lagged behind in another. “Must do better” written on the report card.

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