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The Big Bang: Before the Dawn

The Big Bang: Before the Dawn  2021

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How did the universe come to be? Thanks to a series of discoveries, our most powerful space missions have unravelled 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution and revealed the story of our universe from its birth all the way to the arrival of our nascent civilization. Our guide on this odyssey back to the dawn of time is light. Telescopes are time machines - by looking out into the distant universe, they open a window to the past. One telescope more than any other has helped us journey through the history of the universe: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Remarkably, Hubble has even found one of the first galaxies ever to exist in the universe, which was born some 13.4 billion years ago. It's a discovery that hints at the beginnings of our own Milky Way. Vivid CGI brings this ancient galaxy to life, allowing us to witness for ourselves the first dawn. It was the beginning of a relationship between stars and planets that would, on a faraway world, lead to the origin of life - and ultimately to us.
Hubble’s incredible discoveries have allowed scientists to piece together much of our cosmic story, but it cannot take us back to the most important moment in history: the Big Bang. For decades, the moment the universe began was the subject of pure speculation, but by combining astronomy and cosmology, scientists have finally found a way to put their theories to the test and study the momentous events that took place during the Big Bang. They can do this because the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope has seen the afterglow of the Big Bang itself – something we call the Cosmic Microwave Background. The unparalleled detail Planck gave us has helped confirm something remarkable: the Big Bang may not be the beginning. There was a time before the dawn – a place beyond anything we can comprehend. Professor Brian Cox transports us back to the fraction of a second before the Big Bang, when the seeds of our universe were planted.