The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has upended life as we know it in a matter of mere months. But at the same time, an unprecedented global effort to understand and contain the virus—and find a treatment for the disease it causes—is underway. Join the doctors on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 as they strategize to stop the spread, and meet the researchers racing to develop treatments and vaccines. Along the way, discover how this devastating disease emerged, what it does to the human body, and why it exploded into a pandemic. https://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs/videos/260135141703127/
NOVA | Ghosts of Stonehenge airs on WSKG TV October 11, 2017 at 9pm
Was Stonehenge an ancient cathedral? Or perhaps a Stone Age observatory? Over the last decade, fresh answers have come from an ambitious program of research, including the first scientific study of human remains buried at the site 5,000 years ago. Remnants of huge feasts at the site have come to light, and revelers traveled from across the British Isles to raise the stones and celebrate the winter solstice. Yet Stonehenge’s place as a centerpiece of an ancient culture did not last. NOVA reveals intimate details of the Stonehenge people and why their power began to fade soon after they raised the mighty stones.
NOVA Death Dive to Saturn airs on WSKG TV on September 13, 2017 at 9pm
Almost everything we know about Saturn comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997. As the mission approaches its final days in 2017, the spacecraft will attempt one last set of daring maneuvers—diving between the innermost ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Join NASA engineers for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their gambit has paid off, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years.
NOVA Why Sharks Attacks airs on WSKG-TV on June 14, 2017 at 9pm
In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in ten months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed the ultimate shark fright film, Jaws. What’s behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where they’ve rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable? To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams up with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to discover the science behind the great white’s hunting instincts.
NOVA Holocaust Escape Tunnel airs on WSKG-TV April 19, 2017 at 9pm
For centuries, the Lithuanian city of Vilna was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “Jerusalem of the North” until World War II, when the Nazis murdered about 95% of its Jewish population and reduced its synagogues and cultural institutions to ruins. The Soviets finished the job, paving over the remnants of Vilna’s famous Great Synagogue so thoroughly that few today know it ever existed. Now, an international team of archaeologists is trying to rediscover this forgotten world, excavating the remains of its Great Synagogue and searching for proof of one of Vilna’s greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site.
Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science airs on WSKG-TV Wednesday April 5, 2017 at 10pm. Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. But new evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks — some even 1,700 years before. Was Leonardo a copycat? Leonardo da Vinci is, of course, best known as one of the world’s greatest artists.
NOVA The Origami Revolution airs on WSKG TV February 15, 2017 at 9pm
The tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes is now at the heart of a scientific revolution. Engineers are discovering how, by adopting the principles of origami, they are able to reshape the world around us… and even within us. The rules of folding are at the heart of many natural phenomena, from how leaves blossom to how beetles fly. But now, origami is being adopted in designing new drugs, micro-robots, even future space missions! With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm – a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding?
NOVA Ultimate Cruise Ship airs on WSKG-TV February 8, 2017 at 9pm
Weighing 54,000 gross tons and stretching over two football fields, the Seven Seas Explorer is no ordinary boat. Join pioneering shipbuilders as they endeavor to build the ultimate commercial cruise ship. Decorated with the finest gold, marble, and crystal, it is designed to offer guests the roomiest accommodations of any cruise ship. But building such opulence is no easy feat; NOVA follows a pioneering team of ship builders as they embark on what is advertised to be a milestone in engineering.
Search for the Super Battery airs on WSKG-TV on February 1, 2017 at 9pm
We live in an age when technological innovation is soaring. But for all the satisfying speed with which our gadgets improve, many of them share a frustrating weakness: the batteries remain finicky, bulky, expensive, toxic and maddeningly short-lived. But the quest is on for a “super battery,” and the stakes in this hunt are much higher than the phone in your pocket. With climate change looming, electric cars and renewable energy sources like wind and solar power could hold keys to a greener future if we can engineer the perfect battery. David Pogue explores the hidden world of energy storage, from the power (and danger) of the lithium-ion batteries we use today, to the bold innovations that could one day charge our world. What does the future of batteries mean for our gadgets, our lives and our planet? Might the lowly battery be the breakthrough technology that changes everything?
NOVA The Nuclear Option airs on WSKG TV January 11, 2017 at 9pm
Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe—and the ongoing risks associated with nuclear—a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge the ashes of Fukushima.
NOVA Secrets of the Sky Tombs airs on WSKG-TV January 4, 2017 at 9pm. A team of scientists and explorers probe high altitude caves in the Tibetan Himalayas looking for clues to how humans found their way into this forbidding landscape and adapted their bodies to survive. Along the way they discover evidence of ritual burials, thousands of years old: skeletons, mummies, and evidence of practices designed to ward off ancient vampires and even zombies. The towering Himalayas 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.
Looking for resources for your class? Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? Elements are the hidden ingredients of everything in our world, from the carbon in our bodies to the metals in our smartphone. To unlock their secrets, NOVA’s Hunting the Elements spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, and the universe’s most abundant- and rarest- elements. This collection will allow you and your students to explore this fascinating chemical landscape and take a tour across the periodic table.
Great Human Odyssey airs on WSKG TV October 5, 2016 at 9 p.m.
Our ancient human ancestors once lived only in Africa, then spread rapidly to every corner of the planet. How did we acquire the skills, technology and talent to thrive in every environment on earth? How did our prehistoric forebears cross the Sahara on foot, survive frigid ice ages, and sail to remote Pacific islands? “Great Human Odyssey” is a spectacular global journey following their footsteps out of Africa along a trail of fresh scientific clues. With unique glimpses of today’s Kalahari hunters, Siberian reindeer herders, and Polynesian navigators, we discover amazing skills that hint at how our ancestors survived and prospered long ago.
NOVA School of the Future airs on WSKG TV September 14, 2016 at 9pm. In a new age of information, rapid innovation, and globalization, how can we prepare our children to compete? Once the envy of the world, American schools are now in trouble. How can the latest research help us fix education in America? Can the science of learning—including new insights from neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators—reveal how kids’ brains work and tell us which techniques are most likely to engage and inspire growing minds?
Fireworks have changed a great deal in the 1,000 years since they were first developed in China. The primary chemical component in nearly all fireworks is “black powder.” The recipe for black powder, a mixture of 75 percent saltpeter (potassium nitrate), 15 percent charcoal, and 10 percent sulfur, originated in China about 1,000 years ago with a slightly different proportion of ingredients. Black powder has been used in loud and fiery displays ever since–first to ward off evil spirits, and later to entertain and celebrate. Today’s fireworks rely on black powder for two critical functions. Gas released when the powder combusts first propels the firework skyward and later blasts its contents outward into the elaborate patterns that spectators come to see.
NOVA Bombing Hitler’s Supergun airs on WSKG TV May 11, 2016 at 9pm. Spring 1943. World War II is slowly beginning to turn in favor of the Allied forces. But, growing desperate, Hitler hatches plans for a diabolical weapon: a bank of “superguns” housed in a massive underground complex in Nazi-occupied northern France. Together the guns would be able to pump 300 heavy high explosive shells into downtown London every hour—a target 100 miles away.
NOVA Lethal Seas airs on WSKG TV March 9, 2016 at 9pm. A deadly recipe is brewing that threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth’s oceans. For years, we’ve known that the oceans absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But with high carbon emissions worldwide, this silent killer is entering our seas at a staggering rate, raising the ocean’s acidity. It’s eating away at the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that are the foundation of the web of life.
NOVA Rise of the Robots airs on WSKG TV February 24, 2016 at 9pm. Machines are everywhere. They run our factory assembly lines and make our coffee. But humanoid robots—machines with human-like capabilities—have long been the stuff of science fiction. Until now.
NOVA ‘Memory Hackers’ airs on WSKG TV on February 10, 2016 at 9:00pm. Memory is the glue that binds our mental lives. Without it we’d be prisoners of the present, unable to use the lessons of the past to change our future. But how does it work? For the first time, using cutting edge research, neuroscientists are exploring the precise molecular mechanisms of memory.
(biofluorescent seahorse photo: David Gruber)
NOVA’s Creatures of Light airs February 3, 2016 at 9pm on WSKG-TV. In the dark depths of the oceans, nearly 90% of all species shine from within. Whether it’s to scare off predators, fish for prey, or lure a mate, the language of light is everywhere in the ocean depths, and scientists are finally starting to decode it. NOVA and National Geographic take a dazzling dive to this hidden undersea world where most creatures flash, sparkle, shimmer, or simply glow. Join deep sea scientists who investigate these stunning displays and discover surprising ways to harness nature’s light—from tracking cancer cells to detecting pollution, lighting up cities, and even illuminating the inner workings of our brains.
(Destruction in Kathmandu photograph: Nathan Harrison)
NOVA Himalayan Megaquake will air on WSKG TV January 27, 2016 at 9pm. On April 25, 2015 a devastating earthquake rocked Nepal. As it ripped across the Himalayas, it wiped out villages and left thousands dead. Featuring harrowing stories of the Nepalese people who lived near the epicenter and of survivors trapped on Everest, NOVA tells the story of this crippling disaster. Through dramatic eyewitness footage, expert interviews, and stunning graphics, NOVA reveals the anatomy of this megaquake while scientists race to answer urgent questions—Is another big one just around the corner?
NOVA Mystery Beneath the Ice airs on WSKG TV at 9pm. The population of krill has crashed since the 1970s for reasons that continue to baffle the experts. These delicate, transparent, shrimp-like creatures are crucial to the Antarctic ecosystem and, maybe, to the future of all our oceans. Could the krill’s life cycle be driven by an internal body clock that responds to the waxing and waning of the Antarctic ice pack? As climate change alters the timing of the ice pack, their life cycle is disrupted—or so the theory goes.
Calcite (Cumbria England), from the collections of the Mineralogical & Geological Museum at Harvard University. photo: Rob Tinworth
NOVA Life’s Rocky Start aired on WSKG TV on January 13 at 9pm. Watch the full episode now:
Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a place of meteorite impacts, volcanic eruptions, and lightning flashing through a thin atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. How did it happen?
NOVA Secret Tunnel Warefare airs January 6, 2016 on WSKG-TV. 100 years ago in the winter of 1916, Allied forces devised a plan to break the World War I trench warfare stalemate: one million pounds of explosives hidden in secret tunnels under the German lines. On June 7, the explosives were simultaneously triggered at the Battle of Messines in Belgium – probably the single biggest non-nuclear explosion of all time, heard clearly 150 miles away in London. 10,000 Germans were killed instantly. 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 discovered and flooded by German engineers before the attack.
NOVA Building the Great Cathedrals airs on WSKG TV December 23rd at 9pm. Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. NOVA investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.
NOVA’s ‘Inside Einstein’s Mind airs on WSKG TV November 25 at 9p.m.
Einstein’s theory of General Relativity transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: general relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. Now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s achievement, NOVA tells the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece. The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest and traces the revolution in cosmology that is still playing out in today’s labs and observatories.
Watch NOVA: Making North America Human on WSKG TV on November 18 at 9 p.m.
In the third and final hour of Making North America, NOVA explores the intimate connections between landscape, the colonizing of the continent, and the emergence of our industrial world. From prehistoric tools to today’s oil and gas boom, North America’s hidden riches have been key to our prosperity. As a result, human activity has transformed the continent on a scale that rivals the geological forces that gave birth to it billions of years before. Even as we shape the continent to our needs, geologic processes inexorably continue and raise risks of catastrophe to human civilization. Watch Making North America Origins here.
Tonight at 9p.m. on WSKG TV- NOVA Making North America | Life, tells the intertwined story of life and the landscape in North America. Host Kirk Johnson travels to the North Dakota Badlands and the southern Utah desert to answer the riddle of why so many dinosaurs flourished there, and to see traces of the asteroid that wiped them out. With the dinosaurs gone, mammals flourished and the ancient forests became home to some of the earliest primates. Kirk unravels the mystery of why they too disappeared, leaving North America mostly primate-free until the arrival of humans millions of years later. How did life emerge on our primeval continent? Why was North America home to so many iconic dinosaurs like T. rex? And how did a huge sea filled with giant marine reptiles end up covering Kansas?
Mighty, elemental forces molded North America – fiery eruptions, titanic floods, the grinding of great ice sheets, and massive impacts from space all shaped our homeland. This epic three-part series unfolds in a forgotten world that existed long before our own. z
Hosted by renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson, Making North America is a spectacular road trip through a tumultuous deep past explores three fundamental questions: How was the continent built? How did life evolve here? And how has the continent shaped us?
Join us for a special sneak peak of NOVA: Making North America, a bold and sweeping biography of the continent, hosted by Kirk Johnson, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Two screenings will take place, please choose to attend one. October 22nd at SUNY Cortland 7pm
Expert Panel features SUNY Cortland Scientists:
Biologist and SUNY Cortland President Dr. Erik Bitterbaum
SUNY Cortland Geologists; Dr David Barclay, Dr. Robert Darling,
Dr. Gayle Gleason,Dr. Li Jin, & Dr Christopher McRoberts. or attend
October 23rd at WSKG Studios 6:30pm
Expert Panel features Scientists from the Paleontological Research Institute and more to come. WSKG Studios event will begin with a short reception.