Earth From Space is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth.
Articles by WCVE
In Attenborough’s Life Stories, “Our Fragile Planet”, Sir David Attenborough reflects on the dramatic impact that we have had on the natural world during his lifetime, such as the disappearing rain forests and coral reefs, endangered species such as the blue whale, manatees, sea otters, chimpanzees, and orangutans. He notes how the vulnerable Panamanian golden frog is now quarantined for safety so it doesn’t succumb to a highly infectious fungus which has already made the Monteverde Toad from Costa Rica extinct.
In 1957, decades before Steve Jobs dreamed up Apple or Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, a group of eight brilliant young men defected from the Shockley Semiconductor Company in order to start their own transistor business. Their leader was 29-year-old physicist with a brilliant mind and the affability of a born salesman who would co-invent the microchip -- an essential component of nearly all modern electronics today, including computers, motor vehicles, cell phones and household appliances.
In “Understanding the Natural World,” Sir David Attenborough shares his memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his own career. He also recalls some of his more hair-raising attempts to bring new science to a television audience: standing in the shadow of an erupting volcano as lumps of hot lava crashed around him or being charged by a group of armed New Guinean tribesmen.
Drones. These unmanned flying robots—some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds—do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense, and kill has remained secret. But now, with rare access to drone engineers and those who fly them for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful as we see how a remotely-piloted drone strike looks and feels from inside the command center.
In the Rocky Mountains, archeologists uncover a unique fossil site packed with astonishingly well-preserved bones of mammoths, mastodons, and other giant extinct beasts. The discovery opens a highly focused window on the vanished world of the Ice Age in North America.
One hundred thousand years ago, on planet Earth, huge sheets of ice surge and retreat. Now, a stunning find in an ancient lake promises a glimpse into this exotic Ice Age realm and at the fantastic creatures that ruled the land: ancient elephants like mammoths and mastodons; giant bison; sloths and camels.
Over 60,000 years ago, the first modern humans—people physically identical to us today—left their African homeland and entered Europe, then a bleak and inhospitable continent in the grip of the Ice Age. But when they arrived, they were not alone: the stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already been living there for hundreds of thousands of years.
So what happened when the first modern humans encountered the Neanderthals? Did we make love or war? That question has tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination.
NASA Langley had an extraordinary year. An employer of 3,600, the 800-acre campus in Hampton, Virginia is celebrating 95 years as the nation’s first civil aeronautics laboratory. Among the many highlights and achievments from over the past year, NASA Langley had a key role in the landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover.
Thought by many to be the stuff of legend, it was only in the late-19th century that the giant squid was first officially recorded by scientists, after one leviathan washed up on a New Zealand beach. Related to slugs and snails, this monster from the deep, along with its cousin the colossal squid, is the largest invertebrate in the world. It's never been filmed in its natural habitat, thousands of feet underwater, but occasionally specimens are brought to the surface by deep-sea trawlers.
Music is a form of communication which, like language, is inherent to human behavior and brain function. The Richmond Academy of Medicine recently learned about Your Brain on Music in an evening presentation held at the Country Club of Virginia with a Penn State Professor and a rag time piano player–a classically-trained piano player with his own exceptional “brain on music” story to tell.