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NOVA

NOVA

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  • Premiered: 
    March 3, 1974
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Anthology
  • Tags: science

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Plot Synopsis

In each hour-long (and occasionally longer) documentary, scientists demystify everything from the latest breakthroughs in technology to the deepest mysteries of the natural world, helping viewers of all ages explore the underlying science while highlighting the people involved in these scientific pursuits. NOVA returned for its 40th season on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 9pm ET with an episode, "Doomsday Volcanoes," revealing that Iceland has two giant volcanoes that could erupt without warning, with more severe consequences than the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano that stopped air travel. PBS broadcast the Season 41 premiere of NOVA on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 9pm ET/PT (check local listings) with an episode, "Alien Planets Revealed," in which expert astrophysicists and astrobiologists explore exo-planets and the possible creatures we might one day encounter there. NOVA returned for its 42nd season on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings). The season opener, "Big Bang Machine," chronicles CERN scientists as they prepare to restart the history-making Large Hadron Collider. Season 43 of NOVA premiered on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at 9pm on PBS (check local listings). In the season opener, "Secret Tunnel Warfare," archaeologists reveal traces of WWI's most devastating, ultra-secret tunneling operation. During World War I, the Allies and Germans repeatedly struggled to break the hideous stalemate of trench warfare. In the winter of 1916, Allied engineers devised a massive surprise attack on the German army. Their weapon of choice: 600 tons of explosives, hidden in secret tunnels driven under German lines. Building the tunnels was desperate work, with tunnelers at constant risk from flooding, cave-ins and enemy digging teams; German sappers would listen for telltale sounds and explode counter-mines, or sometimes break through into Allied tunnels and grapple in primitive, face-to-face combat in the dark. At 3:10 AM on June 7th, 25 mines at Messines were simultaneously triggered in what was probably the single biggest non-nuclear explosion of all time, heard clearly in London 150 miles away. 10,000 German troops were killed instantly -- but the stunning success was just the beginning of another wartime nightmare. Now, archaeologists are revealing the extraordinary scale and risks of the Allied tunneling operations in the biggest excavation ever undertaken on the Western Front. NOVA follows bomb disposal experts as they clear topsoil packed with shrapnel and unexploded shells and probe one tunnel system connected to what is probably the world's largest unexploded bomb -- a mine consisting of 22 tons of explosives that was flooded by German engineers before the attack. On Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 9pm (check local listings), PBS premieres the 44th season of NOVA. The season opener, "Secrets of the Sky Tombs," highlights the towering Himalayas, which were among the last places on Earth that humanity settled. Scaling sheer cliff sides, a team of daring scientists hunts for clues to how ancient people found their way into this forbidding landscape and adapted to survive the high altitude. They discover rock-cut tombs filled with human bones and enigmatic artifacts, including gold masks and Chinese silk dating back thousands of years, and piece together evidence of strange rituals and beliefs designed to ward off the restless spirits of the dead.
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On Monday, August 21, 2017 following the President's address at 9pm (check local listings), PBS premieres "Eclipse Over America," a special one-hour episode of NOVA. On this day, American's eyes are glued to the skies as the mainland United States experiences the first total solar eclipse since 1979, and the first to cross the USA since 1918.

This extraordinary cosmic spectacle will pass through 14 states, and everyone in the continental U.S. will have the opportunity to see at least a partial eclipse, possibly making it the most widely viewed American eclipse of all time. Commencing at 1:15pm ET/10:15am PT, a lunar shadow 73 miles wide will take one hour and 33 minutes to travel from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east, allowing continuous observation for 90 minutes.

NOVA's most extensive fast-turnaround film to date, "Eclipse Over America" is the ultimate companion to this spectacular celestial event. NOVA follows teams working on the forefront of solar science and solar storm detection, incorporating immersive CGI animation to reveal the sun's secret mechanisms, stunning sequences of the eclipse itself, NASA footage, and more. NOVA also collaborates with several local public television stations along the path of totality, who provide footage shot in their own back yards, illustrating the excitement the eclipse generates across the nation.

Also during the eclipse, NOVA presents a Facebook LIVE event in partnership with PBS NEWSHOUR, starting at Noon ET/9am PT at https://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs/. Hosted by PBS Science Correspondent Miles O'Brien, the event features commentary by Jason Kalirai from the Space Telescope Science Institute and other experts gathered to watch the eclipse from a location about 40 miles east of Irwin, Idaho.

Plus, eclipse enthusiasts should participate on social media using the #EclipsePBS hashtag.

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by WGBH Boston