Airdate: Search for Second Earth

To mark Science Week ABC screens doco series Search for Second Earth, which tackles the question of whether we are alone….

Produced by Essential Media this is a four-part series using CGI to demonstrate the voyage of an autonomous spacecraft to a planet beyond our Solar System in search of life.

Do we get an answer in the final episode?

During the series we meet the greatest minds of today in the fields of space exploration, planetary science and astrobiology as they confront the overwhelming challenges that this future interstellar mission presents, driven by a need to solve the oldest human mystery: are we alone?

Just 25 years ago, the universe was changed forever. The discovery of the first exoplanet – a planet orbiting a star other than our sun – revolutionised astronomy. Since then we’ve learnt that every single star in the sky hosts at least one planet. And as many of a quarter of them could have the right conditions for life. There are literally billions of new worlds out there for us to explore within our own milky way. Could one of them host life?

Search for Second Earth brings to life, in breathtaking CGI, an epic future journey that our species has already begun: the voyage of an autonomous spacecraft to a planet beyond our Solar System in search of life. Join NASA planetary explorers Gentry Lee and Steve Squyres; and exo-planet hunters Sara Seager, Francois Forget and Natalie Batalha on their quest to find life beyond Earth.

Episode 1: The Planet Hunters
For as long as we’ve had eyes to see and minds to wonder we’ve marvelled at the stars. But it was only on the eve of the 21st Century that a handful of scientists dared to gaze into the gloom between, believing planets like our own Earth could be found there. Since the discovery of the first so-called exoplanet in 1994, the Planet Hunters have transformed the way we see the universe. We now know that every star in the sky has at least one planet. How many of them might host life?

8:30pm Tuesdays on ABC.


  1. More rampant speculation and no possibility of a definitive conclusion-these types of docos are regular visitors to our screens (even if ALFs are not).

  2. As Earth’s “modern” technology has only developed over the past 100 years (first T-Model Ford sold in 1908, first radio station in 1920 -KDKA Pittsburgh) any other civilisation even 100 years ahead of us would have, by now, developed the technology to visit Earth. They probably have, and concluded that there was no intelligent life on Earth.
    “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” – Arthur C. Clarke.

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