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.
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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Building Wonders: Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Ancient Mystery (#4204H) Duration: 55:21 STEREO TVG
The soaring dome of Hagia Sophia dominates Istanbul's skyline. Whether serving as Christian church, Islamic mosque, or secular museum, this magnificent building has inspired reverence and awe. For eight hundred years, it was the largest enclosed building in the world; the Statue of Liberty can fit beneath its dome with room to spare. How has it survived its location on one of the world's most active seismic faults, which has inflicted a dozen devastating earthquakes since it was built in 537 AD? As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is urgently investigating Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets.
Nova follows the team's discoveries as they examine the building's unique structure and other ingenious design strategies that have insured the dome's survival. At the climax to the show, the engineers build a massive 8-ton model of the building's core structure, place it on a motorized shake table and hit it with a series of simulated quakes, pushing it collapse -a fate that the team is determined to avoid in the real world. The Unshakeable Hagia Sophia is a detective story that reveals how this architectural wonder has proven so resilient for so long, and how it came to serve as a proud expression for the great civilizations that adopted it as a symbol.
3D Spies of WWII (#3903H) Duration: 56:31 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
Hitler's scientists developed terrifying new weapons of mass destruction. Alarmed by rumors about advanced rockets and missiles, Allied intelligence recruited a team of brilliant minds from British universities and Hollywood studios to a country house near London. Here, they secretly pored over millions of air photos shot at great risk over German territory by specially converted, high-flying Spitfires. Peering at the photos through 3D stereoscopes, the team spotted telltale clues that revealed hidden Nazi rocket bases. The photos led to devastating Allied bombing raids that were crucial setbacks to the German rocket program and helped ensure the success of the D-Day landings. With 3D graphics that recreate exactly what the photo spies saw, NOVA tells the suspenseful, previously untold story of air photo intelligence that played a vital role in defeating Hitler.
Emperor's Ghost Army (#4120) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
In central China, a vast underground mausoleum conceals a life-size terracotta army of cavalry, infantry, horses, chariots, weapons, administrators, acrobats, and musicians, all built to serve China's first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, in the afterlife. Lost and forgotten for over 2200 years, this clay army, 8000 strong, stands poised to help the First Emperor rule again beyond the grave.
Now, a new archaeological campaign is probing the thousands of figures entombed in the mausoleum. With exclusive access to pioneering research, this program reveals how the Emperor directed the manufacture of the tens of thousands of bronze weapons carried by the clay soldiers. Nova tests the power of these weapons with high-action experiments and reports on revolutionary 3D computer modeling techniques that are revealing new insights into how the clay figures were made, revealing in the process the secrets of one of archaeology's greatest discoveries.
The Great Math Mystery (#4207H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Nova leads viewers on a mathematical mystery tour - a provocative exploration of math's astonishing power across the centuries. We discover math's signature in the swirl of a nautilus shell, the whirlpool of a galaxy, and the spiral in the center of a sunflower. Math was essential to everything from the first wireless radio transmissions to the prediction and discovery of the Higgs boson, and the successful landing of rovers on Mars. But where does math get its power?
Astrophysicist and writer Mario Livio, along with a colorful cast of mathematicians, physicists, and engineers, follow math from Pythagoras to Einstein and beyond, all leading to the ultimate riddle: Is math an invention or a discovery? Humankind's clever trick, or the language of the universe? The Great Math Mystery is a show for everyone; whether we think we're good with numbers or not, we all use math in our daily lives. It sheds fascinating light on how math works in our brains and ponders the ultimate mystery of why it works so well when decoding the universe.
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Megastorm Aftermath (#4017H) Duration: 55:06 STEREO TVPG
One year after Hurricane Sandy's deadly strike, Nova follows up on its 2012 film "Inside the Megastorm" with a fresh investigation of the critical questions raised by this historic storm: Was Sandy a freak combination of weather systems? Or are hurricanes increasing in intensity due to a changing climate? What can we do to prepare ourselves for the next Sandy and what progress has been made toward making our urban infrastructure more resilient? Much of Sandy's wrecking power was due to an extreme storm surge that left large swaths of New York and New Jersey underwater. And with sea levels on the rise, flooding will only become more frequent. What is the role of global warming in driving these rising seas and what will it take to make cities like New York more resilient? Nova travels around the world to see how other low-lying urban areas are combining extraordinary engineering with natural landscape restoration and a smarter, more flexible power grid to prepare for an uncertain future. At the same time, Nova meets the climate scientists who are racing to understand how a warming world will affect extreme - but unpredictable - weather phenomena like hurricanes and tornadoes. To many, Sandy was a wake-up call: one year later, are we still listening? And how will we answer?
Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes (#4015H) Duration: 54:16 STEREO TVPG
On May 20th 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado over a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, inflicting 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where these killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 - the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri - followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why so many fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this Nova special, we meet scientists in the front ranks of the battle to understand these extreme weather events. We also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.
Invisible Universe Revealed (#4208H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
25 years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honor of Hubble's landmark anniversary, Nova tells the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it.
From its inception through its early days, when a one-millimeter engineering blunder turned the telescope into an object of ridicule, to the five heroic astronaut missions that returned Hubble to the cutting edge of science, Nova hears from the scientists and engineers on the front line who tell the amazing Hubble story as never before. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoint the age of the universe, revealed the birthplace of stars and planets, advanced our understanding of dark energy and cosmic expansion, and uncovered black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies. For more than a generation, Hubble's stunning images have brought the beauty of the heavens to millions, revealing a cosmos richer and more wondrous than we ever imagined. Join Nova for the story of this magnificent machine and its astonishing discoveries.
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Dawn of Humanity (#4209) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Nova and National Geographic present exclusive access to an astounding discovery of ancient fossil human ancestors. Located in an almost inaccessible chamber deep in a South African cave, the site required recruiting a special team of experts slender enough to squeeze through a maze of passages. They have brought to light an unprecedented wealth of fossils belonging to a crucial gap in the record of our origins that spans the transition between the ape-like australopithecines (such as the famous Lucy) and the earliest members of the human family. At the center of the discovery is paleoanthropologist Lee Berger, a big character, brimming with enthusiasm and opinions, whose claims have stirred long controversy in the contentious field of human origins. Join Nova as we solve a two million year-old "crime scene" and dig into extraordinary new clues about what made us human.
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Lizard Kings (#3616H) Duration: 53:41 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: DVI)
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.
Nazi Attack On America (#4210H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Long before 9/11, a far deadlier, little-known attack from the ocean depths struck our shores, lasting three-and-a-half years and claiming 5,000 lives. Now, famed undersea explorer Bob Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, investigates the wreck of one of the attack craft, a German submarine that lies at the bottom of the gulf just a few miles off New Orleans. U-166 was part of Operation Drumbeat, a highly successful U-boat operation that caught East Coast cities and shipping almost completely unprepared. With state-of-the-art survey gear, Ballard probes the wreck and unravels a dramatic mystery in the official story of the sub's sinking.
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Lethal Seas (#4211H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
A deadly recipe threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth's oceans. We've known for years that oceans absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. With carbon emissions sharply rising, the silent killer is entering the seas at a staggering rate - raising the oceans' acidity. As a result, the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that form the foundation of the web of life are dissolving. Follow scientists who are seeking solutions and making breakthrough discoveries, including a unique coral garden in Papua New Guinea that offers a glimpse of what the seas could be like in a half-century. Can experts crack the code of a rapidly changing ocean - before it's too late?
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Rise of the Hackers (#4115H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG
Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails and all of our personal information. This data is precious - and cybercriminals want it. Now, Nova goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe. They are experts in extreme physics, math, and a new field called "ultra-paranoid computing," all working to forge unbreakable codes and build ultra-fast computers. From the two men who uncovered the world's most advanced cyber weapon to the computer expert who worked out how to hack into cash machines and scientists who believe they can store a password in your unconscious brain, Nova investigates how a new global geek squad is harnessing cutting-edge science - all to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
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First Man on the Moon (#4122H) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVG
When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, he won instant fame. Yet this accomplished engineer and test pilot was so determined to stay out of the limelight that few know the personal story of how his rare combination of talent, luck and experience led to his successful command of Apollo 11. Nova presents an intimate portrait of an unassuming American hero through interviews with Armstrong's family and friends.