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Nova Previous Broadcasts

Building The Great Cathedrals (Episode #3711H)

KQED 9: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 -- 9:00 PM

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.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED World: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 -- 4:00 AM
  • KQED World: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 -- 10:00 PM
  • KQED Life: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 -- 2:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 -- 8:00 PM
  • KQED World: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 -- 11:00 AM
  • KQED World: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 -- 8:00 AM
  • KQED 9: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 -- 3:00 AM

Ultimate Mars Challenge (Episode #3915H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 -- 3:00 AM

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?

Inside The Megastorm (Episode #3916#)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 -- 2:00 AM

Was Hurricane Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to a warming climate? How did this perfect storm make search and rescue so dangerous? This episode takes viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy, its impacts, and the future of storm protection. Through first person accounts from those who survived, and from experts and scientists, it gives scientific context to a new breed of storms.

Ultimate Mars Challenge (Episode #3915H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 25, 2012 -- 9:00 PM

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?

Inside The Megastorm (Episode #3916#)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 25, 2012 -- 8:00 PM

Was Hurricane Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to a warming climate? How did this perfect storm make search and rescue so dangerous? This episode takes viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy, its impacts, and the future of storm protection. Through first person accounts from those who survived, and from experts and scientists, it gives scientific context to a new breed of storms.

Lizard Kings (Episode #3616H)

KQED Plus: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 -- 2:00 AM

They look like dragons. Armed with sharp teeth, tearing claws and a whip-like tail, these fearsome creatures are not only powerful, they're also smart. Top predators with intelligence, who learn as they hunt, and who use their brain to track down prey, no matter what. Sounds like these cunning hunters should be a big-brained mammal, but these creatures are reptiles, members of a family that evolved when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. They are the largest lizards still walking the planet, the monitor lizards -- the Lizard Kings.

Mystery of Easter Island (Episode #3914H)

KQED Plus: Mon, Dec 17, 2012 -- 1:00 AM

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? Nova explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to "walk" the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a Nova team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory.

Lizard Kings (Episode #3616H)

KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 -- 8:00 PM

They look like dragons. Armed with sharp teeth, tearing claws and a whip-like tail, these fearsome creatures are not only powerful, they're also smart. Top predators with intelligence, who learn as they hunt, and who use their brain to track down prey, no matter what. Sounds like these cunning hunters should be a big-brained mammal, but these creatures are reptiles, members of a family that evolved when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. They are the largest lizards still walking the planet, the monitor lizards -- the Lizard Kings.

Mystery of Easter Island (Episode #3914H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 -- 3:00 AM

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? Nova explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to "walk" the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a Nova team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 -- 7:00 PM

Ghosts of Machu Picchu (Episode #3704H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 -- 2:00 AM

Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned 400 years ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this "Lost City of the Incas," yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burial grounds of the people who built the sacred site.

Mystery of Easter Island (Episode #3914H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 -- 9:00 PM

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? Nova explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to "walk" the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a Nova team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 16, 2012 -- 7:00 PM

Ghosts of Machu Picchu (Episode #3704H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 -- 8:00 PM

Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned 400 years ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this "Lost City of the Incas," yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven't been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burial grounds of the people who built the sacred site.

Mt. St. Helens Back from the Dead (Episode #3710H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 -- 4:00 AM

When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, every living thing in the blast zone was buried beneath 300 feet of avalanche debris, covered with steaming mud and, finally, topped with a superheated layer of frothy rock from deep within the earth. It seemed as though Mount St. Helens might remain a wasteland forever. When biologist Charlie Crisafulli first flew over the disaster zone, finding no sign of life, little did he realize that his own life would be forever changed. Crisafulli has remained at the site for 27 years, documenting the dramatic return of plant and animal life to the barren landscape and pioneering a new understanding of the interaction between geologic forces and the life surrounding the mountain. Nova brings viewers on a journey of a landscape brought back from the dead.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 9, 2012 -- 6:00 PM

Secrets Beneath The Ice (Episode #3717H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 -- 3:00 AM

In 2002, an immense, 200 meter-thick ice shelf, the size of Manhattan, collapsed into the ocean off the Antarctic Peninsula, shocking scientists and raising the alarming possibility that we may be heading toward an ice-free Antarctica - last seen a million years ago. That would raise world sea levels so high that New York City would be flooded up to the level of the Statue of Liberty's shoulders. But could this really happen? Is Antarctica's surprising past a reliable guide to what may happen to our warming planet?
To gather crucial evidence, Nova follows the most ambitious scientific project launched during the International Polar Year: a state-of-the-art drilling probe known as ANDRILL. Penetrating more than a kilometer through the floating sea ice, ANDRILL recovers evidence from the seabed that reveals details of climate and fauna from a time when dinosaurs and forests once thrived in Antarctica. As the scientists grapple with the harshest conditions on earth, they discover astonishing and disturbing new clues. Once thought to be locked in a solid deep freeze for the last 15 million years, it now looks like Antarctica's ice has melted and frozen again dozens of times during that period. This breakthrough discovery carries ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.

Iceman Murder Mystery (Episode #3815H)

KQED Plus: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 -- 2:00 AM

He's been dead for more than 5,000 years. He's been poked, prodded and probed by scientists for the last 20. And yet today, Otzi the Iceman, the famous mummified corpse pulled from a glacier in the Italian Alps nearly two decades ago, continues to keep many secrets. Now, through an autopsy like no other, scientists attempt to unravel more mysteries from this ancient mummy than ever before, revealing not only the details of Otzi's death, but an entire way of life. How did people live during Otzi's time, the Copper Age? What did we eat? What diseases did we cope with? The answers abound miraculously in this one man's mummified remains.

Mt. St. Helens Back from the Dead (Episode #3710H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 -- 10:00 PM

When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, every living thing in the blast zone was buried beneath 300 feet of avalanche debris, covered with steaming mud and, finally, topped with a superheated layer of frothy rock from deep within the earth. It seemed as though Mount St. Helens might remain a wasteland forever. When biologist Charlie Crisafulli first flew over the disaster zone, finding no sign of life, little did he realize that his own life would be forever changed. Crisafulli has remained at the site for 27 years, documenting the dramatic return of plant and animal life to the barren landscape and pioneering a new understanding of the interaction between geologic forces and the life surrounding the mountain. Nova brings viewers on a journey of a landscape brought back from the dead.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Plus: Sun, Dec 9, 2012 -- 6:00 PM

Secrets Beneath The Ice (Episode #3717H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 -- 9:00 PM

In 2002, an immense, 200 meter-thick ice shelf, the size of Manhattan, collapsed into the ocean off the Antarctic Peninsula, shocking scientists and raising the alarming possibility that we may be heading toward an ice-free Antarctica - last seen a million years ago. That would raise world sea levels so high that New York City would be flooded up to the level of the Statue of Liberty's shoulders. But could this really happen? Is Antarctica's surprising past a reliable guide to what may happen to our warming planet?
To gather crucial evidence, Nova follows the most ambitious scientific project launched during the International Polar Year: a state-of-the-art drilling probe known as ANDRILL. Penetrating more than a kilometer through the floating sea ice, ANDRILL recovers evidence from the seabed that reveals details of climate and fauna from a time when dinosaurs and forests once thrived in Antarctica. As the scientists grapple with the harshest conditions on earth, they discover astonishing and disturbing new clues. Once thought to be locked in a solid deep freeze for the last 15 million years, it now looks like Antarctica's ice has melted and frozen again dozens of times during that period. This breakthrough discovery carries ominous implications for coastal cities around the globe.

Iceman Murder Mystery (Episode #3815H)

KQED Plus: Tue, Dec 4, 2012 -- 8:00 PM

He's been dead for more than 5,000 years. He's been poked, prodded and probed by scientists for the last 20. And yet today, Otzi the Iceman, the famous mummified corpse pulled from a glacier in the Italian Alps nearly two decades ago, continues to keep many secrets. Now, through an autopsy like no other, scientists attempt to unravel more mysteries from this ancient mummy than ever before, revealing not only the details of Otzi's death, but an entire way of life. How did people live during Otzi's time, the Copper Age? What did we eat? What diseases did we cope with? The answers abound miraculously in this one man's mummified remains.

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TV Technical Issues

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    TV Technical Issues
    • KQED DT9s Over the Air: beginning Wed 7/09

      (DT9.1, 9.2, 9.3) The PSIP Info part of our Over the Air (OTA) signal for KQED DT9.1, 9.2, 9.3 dropped out of our overall signal early Wednesday 7/09. Once PSIP was restored most OTA receivers moved our signal back to the correct channel locations. However, for some viewers, it appears as if they have lost […]

    • KQED FM 88.1 translator off air Tues 6/03

      The Martinez translator for KQED-FM will be off the air all day Tuesday June 3rd. We are rebuilding the 25 year old site with all new antennas and cabling. This should only affect people listening on 88.1MHz in the Martinez/Benicia area.

    • KQET planned overnight outage: early Tues 5/13

      (DT25.1, 25.2, 25.3) KQET’s Over The Air (OTA) signal will shut down late May 12/early Tues 5/13 shortly after midnight to allow for extensive electrical maintenance work at the transmitter. Engineers will do their best to complete the work by 6am Tuesday morning. This will affect OTA viewers of the DT25 channels, and signal providers […]

To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

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