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.
Secrets of the Sun (#3907H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
It contains 99.9% of all the matter in our solar system and sheds hot plasma at nearly a million miles an hour. The temperature at its core is a staggering 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. It convulses, it blazes, it sings. You know it as the sun. Scientists know it as one of the most amazing physics laboratories in the universe. Now, with the help of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the Sun as they never have before and even re-creating what happens at the very center of the Sun in labs here on Earth. Their work will help us understand aspects of the sun that have puzzled scientists for decades. But more critically, it may help us predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications, and ground global air travel for days, weeks, or even longer. Such storms have happened before-but never in the modern era of satellite communication. Thid episode reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star-one that might help keep our planet from going dark.
D-Day's Sunken Secrets (#4113H) Duration: 1:55:11 STEREO TVPG
On June 6, 1944, the Allies launched the biggest armada in history to invade the Normandy beaches and liberate Europe from the Nazis. In less than 24 hours, more than 5000 ships crossed the English Channel, along with thousands of tanks and landing craft and nearly 200,000 men. Throughout the operation hundreds of ships sank running the gauntlet of mines and bunkers, creating one of the world's largest underwater archaeological sites. Now, Nova has exclusive access to a unique collaboration between military historians, archaeologists, and specialist divers to carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary beachheads. Dive teams, submersibles, and underwater robots discover and identify key examples of the Allied craft that fell victim to German shellfire, mines and torpedoes. The team uses the latest 3D mapping tools to plot the relics on the sea floor. Highlighting the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses, "D-Day's Sunken Secrets" unfolds a vivid blow-by-blow account of the tumultuous events of D-Day and reveals how the Allies' intricate planning and advanced technology was vital to assure the success of the most ambitious and risky military operation ever launched.
Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses (#4109H) Duration: 54:21 STEREO TVG
What is it like to be a dog, a shark, or a bird? Long the subject of human daydreams, this question is now getting serious attention from scientists who study animal senses. The senses define our experience of the world - they shape our minds, and help make us what we are. Humans rely on smell, sight, taste, touch, and sound, but other animals have super-powered versions of these senses, and a few, like electrically-sensitive sharks, even have extra senses we don't have at all. From a dog who seems to use smell to tell time, to a dolphin who can "see" with his ears, we will discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine. But it's not just the senses that are remarkable - it's the brains that process them. How does a swallow's tiny, one-gram brain take in the flood of visual information that enables the bird to whiz within inches of buildings while flying at 40 miles per hour? How does a dog's mind turn the sight of a hand signal into the happy anticipation of a treat? How has the evolution of the dog - from its wolf ancestors-reshaped its brain? Nova goes into the minds of animals to "see" the world in an entirely new way.
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Roman Catacomb Mystery (#4104H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Beneath the streets of Rome lies an ancient city of the dead known as the Catacombs -- a labyrinth of tunnels, hundreds of miles long, lined with tombs. Now, Nova goes inside a previously-unknown complex within the tunnel system: a mysterious mass grave, locked away for nearly 2000 years. Nova's forensic investigation opens up fascinating new insights into the daily life and health of Roman citizens at the heyday of its mighty empire.
Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius (#4108H) Duration: 54:21 STEREO TVG
What would it be like to go inside the mind of an animal? We have all gazed into a creature's eyes and wondered: what is it thinking about? What does it really know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this mini-series, Nova explores these breakthroughs through three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins. We'll travel into the spectacularly nuanced noses of dogs and wolves, and ask whether their reliance on different senses has shaped their evolution. We'll see through the eyes of a starling in flight and test the tool-using skills of the smartest of birds, the crow. We'll listen in as scientists track dolphins in the Caribbean and elephants on the African savannah, trying to unlock the secrets of animal communication. As we discover how researchers are pushing the animal mind to its limits, we'll uncover surprising similarities to - and differences from - the human mind.
This episode: When it comes to intelligence, we humans are clearly the most gifted animals around. But what make us so special? Is it our ability to make and use tools? To solve complex problems? Or plan for the future? It might seem that way, but today, researchers are discovering other creatures with impressive brains that have mastered all those skills. Surprisingly, many are bird brains. Crows bend and shape sticks to create custom-made spears for hunting grubs, and they are just one among a growing list of bird species whose impressive problem-solving abilities are shocking scientists and revolutionizing our understanding of animal intelligence. At the head of the class, we meet animals like Muppet, a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; 007, a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle for the first time ever; and Bran, a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. But are these skills really evidence of high intelligence, or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct? To find out, Nova tests the limits of some of the planet's brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.
First Air War (#4118H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG-V
When World War I began in 1914, the air forces of the opposing nations consisted of handfuls of rickety biplanes from which pilots occasionally took pot shots at one another with rifles. By 1918, the fighter had become an efficient killing machine with a growing strategic impact on the outcome of the war. With the help of aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic WWI fighters, Nova joins the team as they uncover the secrets of some of aviation's most colorful and deadly early flying machines and explores how their impact played a key role in the nightmare slaughter of the Western Front.
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Inside Animal Minds: Who's The Smartest? (#4110H) Duration: 54:21 STEREO TVG
What makes an animal smart? What forces of evolution drive brains to become more complex? Many scientists believe the secret lies in our relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures - including humans - seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants, and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter? To find out, Nova goes inside the social lives of some of the smartest animals on the planet. Off the coast of Florida, we see dolphins team up to catch fish by whipping up a wall of muddy water that drives the meal right into their companions' waiting mouths. It seems that the dolphins are working together to plan their hunt. But are they really? Biologists go on a quest to decipher the secrets of animal societies, from the seas of the Caribbean to the plains of Africa. Do dolphins and elephants have "language?" Do chimps have a sense of fairness? And are any animals besides ourselves capable of feeling empathy?