PBS' premiere science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, it demystifies science and technology and highlights people involved in scientific pursuits.
Extreme Ice (#3604H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
In collaboration with National Geographic, Nova follows the exploits of acclaimed photojournalist James Balog and a scientific team as they deploy time-lapse cameras in risky, remote locations in the Arctic, Alaska, and the Alps. Grappling with blizzards, fickle technology, and climbs up craggy precipices, the team must anchor cameras capable of withstanding sub-zero temperatures and winds up to 170 mph. The goal of Balog's team's perilous expedition: to create a unique photo archive of melting glaciers that could provide a key to understanding their runaway behavior and their potential to drive rising sea levels.
Some models now project a one-meter sea level rise over the next century, which could displace millions of people everywhere from Florida to Bangladesh and require trillions of dollars in new coastal infrastructure investments. But, alarmingly, these models don't reflect recent findings that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an ever-faster rate. What explains this alarming acceleration, and just how do you figure out what's happening inside a gigantic wall of ice? In this high-action scientific adventure, Nova investigates the mystery of the mighty ice sheets that will affect the fate of coastlines around the world.
Building The Great Cathedrals (#3711) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA's teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.
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Doomsday Volcanoes (#4001H) Duration: 54:46 STEREO TVPG
In April, 2010 the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone, stranding hundreds of thousands of travelers. But Eyjafjallajokull was just the start. Now, an Icelandic volcano 10 times bigger, Katla, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning. Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. As CGI takes us inside these geological monsters, we meet atmospheric scientists who are working to understand just how devastating an eruption could be -- not just for air travel but for the global food supply and for Earth's climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the disaster to come?
Alien Planets Revealed (#4101H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
It's a golden age for planet hunters: NASA's Kepler mission has identified more than 3500 potential planets orbiting stars beyond our sun. Some of them, like a planet called Kepler-22b, might even be able to harbor life. How did we come upon this distant planet? Combining animation with input from expert astrophysicists and astrobiologists, this episode takes viewers on a journey along with the Kepler telescope. How does the telescope look for planets? How many of these planets are like our Earth? Will any of these planets be suitable for life as we know it? Bringing the creative power of veteran animators together with the latest discoveries in planet-hunting, this film shows the successes of the Kepler mission, taking us to planets beyond our solar system and providing a glimpse of creatures we might one day encounter.
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Zeppelin Terror Attack (#4102H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Nova reveals the untold story of the biggest flying machines ever made: Germany's war zeppelins, which rained down death on British towns for two and a half terrifying years during World War I. In hands-on experiments, Nova uncovers how the zeppelins were built and flown, and goes inside the desperate scramble to take down the zeppelins and make the streets of Britain safe again.
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Ultimate Mars Challenge (#3915) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
It could be NASA's last chance to set wheels down on Mars until the end of the decade: in August 2012, a rover named Curiosity touched down inside Mars' Gale Crater, carrying 10 new instruments that advanced the quest for signs that Mars might have once been suitable for life. But Curiosity's mission is risky. After parachuting through the Martian atmosphere at twice the speed of sound, Curiosity is gently lowered to the planet's surface by a "sky crane." This first-of-its-kind system has been tested on Earth, but will it work on Mars?
With inside access to the massive team of scientists and engineers responsible for Curiosity's on-the-ground experiments, Nova is there for the exhilarating moments after Curiosity's landing - and for the spectacular discoveries to come. But no rover does it alone: Curiosity is joining a team that includes the Mars Odyssey, Express and Reconnaissance orbiters, along with the tireless Opportunity rover. As we reveal the dynamic new picture of Mars that these explorers are painting, we discover the questions raised by 40 years of roving Mars: How do we define life? How does life begin and what does it need to survive? Are we alone in the universe?
Monster Typhoon (W.T.) (#4106H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO
It was the strongest cyclone to hit land in recorded history. On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan - what some are calling "the perfect storm" - slammed into the Philippines, whipping the low-lying and densely-populated islands with 200mph winds and sending a 2-story-high storm surge flooding into homes, schools, and hospitals. It wiped villages off the map and devastated cities, including the hard-hit provincial capital Tacloban. Estimates count more than 5000 dead and millions homeless.
What made Haiyan so destructive? In-depth interviews with the meteorologists charged with tracking and forecasting Pacific storms take us inside the anatomy of the typhoon, tracking its progress from its start as a low-pressure area over Micronesia to its deadly landfall and revealing why the Pacific is such fertile ground for cyclones. But that's just part of the story of why this storm was so deadly. With crews on the ground within days of the storm, Nova reveals how conditions dramatically deteriorated in the storm's aftermath, as impassable roads and shuttered gas stations paralyzed the critical relief effort, leaving lifesaving food, water, and medicine to pile up at the airport. Disaster preparedness experts and relief workers scramble to understand why the Philippines was so vulnerable when other countries,like India, have successfully slashed storm casualty counts in recent years. As climate change and sea level rise threaten millions of the world's most impoverished people with stronger, and perhaps more frequent, storms, how can we prepare for the next monster typhoon?
Rise of the Drones (#4003H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
A revolution is transforming the armed forces of every nation. Nova launches an investigation of the explosive growth of airborne UAVs or pilotless drones. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US deployed only a handful; now, it has more than 7000. Besides the US, over 40 other nations are now building or buying these increasingly lethal and cost-effective weapons, and it's only a matter of time before a terrorist group turns the technology against Western targets. The latest Predators can track 12 targets at once, trace footprints back to their source and even recognize individual faces. Yesterday's soldiers and pilots put their lives on the line but today, a UAV pilot can "fly" a mission in Afghanistan remotely from a base in Nevada. As one pilot said, after carrying out a strike, "within 20 minutes you can be sitting at the dinner table talking to your kids." That new ability has already saved hundreds if not thousands of US service lives but may make military strikes a more tempting, seemingly risk-free option.
Ghosts of Murdered Kings (#4103) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Nova follows archaeologists and forensic experts in Ireland's County Tipperary in their methodical hunt for clues to the identity and the circumstances of various violent deaths of bog body victims. A new theory emerges that they are those of ritually murdered kings, gruesomely slain to assure the fertility of land and people.
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