Segments in this Video

Introduction: Constructing An Imaginary Planet (02:22)


A planetary engineer will construct an imaginary planet over the California desert, calling up events from the history of Earth while traveling the depths and heights of the world for instructive sites, in order to build a planet that supports life.

Raw Materials (03:54)

Trucks bring the correct proportions of raw materials for the planet's building blocks: iron, oxygen, silica and magnesium. A pickup brings the remaining 7% of calcium, aluminum and copper.

Electrostatic Forces at Zero Gravity (04:15)

All the planetary elements are churned around and bound with the cosmic glue of electrostatic forces. Dr. Dan Drueber demonstrates this force in a special plane from Cape Canaveral that simulates the weightless conditions in space.

Gravity (04:38)

Scientists study global gravity at the Sanford Laboratories, 1 1/2 km. deep in South Dakota. Scientists have precisely weighed Dr. Gnome and found the difference of .06 gm between this depth and at the surface worldwide, showing the gravitational pull of a greater mass.

Effects of Meteorite Impacts (06:23)

The larger pieces in the cosmic cloud attract the smaller bits, accreting to planet size. The Barringer Crater in Winslow County, Arizona, is evidence of continuing meteorite impacts. Dr. Chris Riley explains the effects of that impact.

Meteorite Hunters (08:06)

Meteorite hunters search for space rocks in Arizona using a large metal detector and a trained dog. In 2013, a meteor fell near Chelyabinsk, Russia, showering the earth with meteorites before breaking up.

Forming a Rock Surface (06:31)

Struck by meteors, the imaginary planet is a sea of molten magma from volcanic activity. Scientists use a mobile volcano to show how flowing lava turns to basalt rock, forming a crust when the energy from meteorite impacts lessens.

Water Formation (01:36)

Water has been trapped inside the Earth's rock from the beginning. Steam from volcanoes formed the Earth's oceans and toxic gases that were converted by ancient stromatolite bacteria into oxygen.

Effect and Formation of Earth's Moon (08:00)

The planet's formation is complete, but a wobble makes it hostile to life. At NASA in Houston, Dr. Harrison Smith shows the lunar rock he found as an astronaut on the moon in 1972. The Moon, formed from Earth debris after an impact, stabilized the Earth's wobble.

Planetary Relationship with the Moon and the Universe (03:01)

The Moon gave Earth its tides that tempted early life onto the surface. The imaginary engineer has replicated our planet that began to form over four point five billion years ago.

Previews and Credits (01:15)

Previews of Episode 2 and credits follow.

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How to Build a Planet: Episode 1

Part of the Series : How to Build a Planet
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



How on Earth do you build a planet that is just right for life? What do you need to build a planet like ours, and what happens if you get anything wrong? With eye-popping graphics, we open up a cosmic toolbox to work it out. Building the whole thing, piece by piece, from the top of a very high tower in the Californian desert. A BBC/Science Channel co-production. A part of the series How to Build a Planet.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL57516

ISBN: 978-0-81609-414-1

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

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