PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018 at 9PM ET /8C on PBS
Black Hole Apocalypse TWO-HOUR SPECIAL
They are the most enigmatic, mysterious, and exotic objects in the universe: black holes. Theyre also the most powerful; their gravity is so strong it can actually capture light. And theyre the most destructive, swallowing particles, dust, gas, planets, even giant stars. Anything that falls into them vanishes… gone forever. But now, astrophysicists are coming to realize that black holes just might be integral to the structure of the universe and our very existence. In this 2-hour special, astrophysicist and novelist Janna Levin will take viewers on a journey to the frontiers of black hole science. We will meet with the leading astronomers and physicists to discover the most cutting edge research that is helping to shed light on these shadowy monsters.
Black Hole Apocalypse, a One-Night, Two-Hour Special
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018 at 9ET/8C on PBS
Join astrophysicist and author Janna Levin on a mind-bending journey to the frontiers of black hole research. Discover how scientists observe black holes as they form and reveal new clues to the strangest and most extreme objects in the universe.
Black holes are the most enigmatic, mysterious, and exotic objects in the universe. Theyre also the most powerful, with gravity so strong it can actually trap light. And theyre destructive, swallowing dust, gas, planets, even giant stars. Anything that falls into them vanishes…gone forever. But now, astrophysicists are realizing that black holes may be essential to understanding how our universe unfoldedpossibly leading to life on Earth and, ultimately, us. In this 2-hour special, astrophysicist and author Janna Levin takes viewers on a journey to the frontiers of black hole science. Along the way we meet leading astronomers and physicists on the edge of finding new answers to provocative questions about these shadowy monsters: Where do they come from? Whats inside them? What happens if you fall into one? And what can they tell us about the nature of space, time, and gravity?
The Impossible Flight, a One-Night, Two-Hour Special
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018 at 9ET/8C on PBS
Follow two intrepid pilots as they take on the greatest aviation adventure of our time, overcoming countless challenges as they construct and fly the first solar-powered airplane around the world.
In March 2015, Solar Impulse II launched the greatest aviation undertaking of our time: to be the first solar-powered airplane to fly around the world. It was a feat 12 years in the making, and was anything but a sure bet. NOVA follows intrepid pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg two men bent on pushing the boundaries of human flight and proving renewable energys potential. Along with a team of brilliant engineers, the two designed and built Solar Impulse from scratch – though top airplane manufacturers told them would be too big, too light, and impossible to control. NOVA follows the team as it overcomes seemingly insurmountable challenges to build and fly the first solar plane around the world.
First Face of America
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018 at 9PM ET /8C on PBS
Take a risky dive into an underwater cave in Mexico to discover the 13,000 year-old skeleton of a prehistoric teenager. Follow forensic clues that reveal intimate details of her life and death, and how her people first ventured into North America.
On an unlucky day 13,000 years ago, a slightly built, malnourished teenager missed her footing and tumbled to the bottom of a 100-foot pit deep inside a cave in Mexicos Yucatan. Rising seas flooded the cave and, until recently, cut it off from the outside world. Then a team of divers chanced upon her nearly complete and astonishingly well-preserved skeleton alongside fossils of extinct Ice Age beasts such as giant sloths and saber-tooth tigers. Now, NOVA takes you on a spectacular and risky underwater expedition to recover her bones and explores one of sciences most controversial riddles: the origins of the First Americans. Intricate detective work reveals that the young womans bones are among the earliest known human remains in the Americas. So what drove her to venture nearly a mile underground in the vast cave? Where did her people come from, and why does she look so distinct from todays Native Americans? From the stunning Mexico cave to the wilderness of the Yukon, from the genetics lab to the latest in forensics, NOVA pursues tantalizing new clues that are rewriting the story of the forgotten first people who ventured into our continent.
Great Escape at Dunkirk
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 at 9PM ET /8C on PBS
Join archaeologists and divers recovering remains of ships and planes lost during World War IIs epic Dunkirk operation. Discover new evidence of the ingenious technology that helped save Allied forces from defeat by the encircling Germans.
As France fell to the German armies in May 1940, 300,000 Allied troops were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Their annihilation seemed certaina disaster that could have led to Britains surrender. But then, in a last-minute rescue dramatized in Christopher Nolans recent film, Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of tiny civilian boats evacuated hundreds of thousands of soldiers to safety across the Channelthe legendary miracle of Dunkirk. Now, NOVA follows a team of archaeologists, historians, and divers as they recover the remains of ships, planes, and personal effects lost during the epic operation. With access to previously classified files recently released by the UK government, they also uncover the truth behind the myths of Dunkirknotably, a claim that the Royal Air Force failed to protect the stranded men from the Luftwaffes constant bombing of the beaches. Featuring an exclusive excavation of a newly-found Spitfire wreck, NOVA debunks the myth and highlights the essential role that the RAFs iconic fighter played in reversing the desperate stakes that played out in the air above the beleaguered men.
Prediction by the Numbers
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018 at 9PM ET /8C on PBS
Discover how predictions underpin nearly every aspect of our lives and why some succeed spectacularly while others fail. Explore entertaining real-world challenges and join experts as they tackle that age-old question: Can we forecast the future?
Predictions underlie nearly every aspect of our lives, from sports, politics, and medical decisions to the morning commute. With the explosion of digital technology, the Internet, and big data, the science of forecasting is flourishing. But why do some predictions succeed spectacularly while others fail abysmally? And how can we find meaningful patterns amidst chaos and uncertainty? In a fascinating, fast-paced investigation, NOVA takes viewers from the glitz of casinos and TV game shows to the life-and-death stakes of storm forecasts and the flaws of opinion polls that can swing an election. Prediction by the Numbers explores compelling success stories of statistics in action: how baseball legend Billy Beane developed the recruiting techniques made famous by Moneyball to transform the fortunes of major league teams. Yet advances in machine learning and big data models that increasingly rule our lives are also posing big, disturbing questions. How much should we trust black box predictions made by computers when we dont understand how they arrive at them? And how far can we really forecast how our future world will turn out?
Living with the Weather Machine (wt), a One-Night, Two-Hour Special
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2018 at 8PM ET /7C on PBS
Climate change is arguably the defining challenge of our time, yet widespread misunderstanding and misinformation has hampered the ability of individualspoliticians and public aliketo understand and address the issue. In this 2-hour documentary, NOVA will cut through the noise and help define the way forward. Why do scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, and that human activity is causing it? How will it affect us, and when? Where is there uncertainty in the science, and what does that mean? And what will it take to bend the curve of planetary warming toward more benign outcomes? Join scientists around the globe on a quest to better understand the workings of the weather and climate machine we call Earth, and discover how they are finding that we can be resilienteven thrivein the face of enormous change.
NOVA Wonders, a New Series
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018 at 10 PM ET/9C on PBS
This new series, premiering on PBS in April 2018, reports from the frontiers of science. With its emphasis on provocative and unanswered questions, NOVA Wonders follows researchers on the winding paths of uncertainty and the unknown — and from the mysteries of astrophysics to the technologies that could rival or surpass the abilities of the human mind. NOVA Wonders reveals how far weve come in our search for answers, how we managed to get here, and the remarkable scientists who are transforming our world and the future.