This week on the long-running PBS science program NOVA, a really cool four-part documentary on what the geological history of Australia can teach us about how the earth was formed. My partner-in-crime Miles O'Brien watched this one at a special screening in DC recently with the film's director/host Dr. Richard Smith, and was blown away. Dr. Smith and his team "journey back to the very beginning of the Australian story", with a first stop in Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, "where we encounter an Earth shortly after its fiery birth."
Hidden in the red hills of Australia are clues to the mysteries of when the Earth was born, how life first arose, and how it transformed the planet. Experts unveil how the earliest forms of life—an odd assortment of bacterial slime—flooded the atmosphere with oxygen, sparking the biological revolution that made animal life possible. It is the beginning of the great drama of life on Earth.