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Natural Disasters, War Secrets and Art Mysteries Oh My!
- NOVA Continues with a New Winter Line-up -

 

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

 

Vesuvius during lightning storm

 

NOVA continues Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. on WTVP-HD with exciting stories looking at the scientific impact of natural disasters, tracing events that played vital roles in defeating Hitler, and following a new breed of experts who approach “art mysteries” as if they were crime scenes. New this month…

Deadliest Volcanoes
Jan. 4, 8-9 p.m.
Millions of people around the world live in the shadow of active volcanoes. Under constant threat of massive volcanic eruptions, their homes and their lives are daily at risk from these sleeping giants. From Japan’s Mount Fuji to the “Sleeping Giant” submerged beneath Naples to the Yellowstone “supervolcano” in the United States, travel with scientists from around the world who are at work on these sites, attempting to discover how likely these volcanoes are to erupt, when eruptions might happen and how deadly they could prove to be. And stay tuned from 9-10 p.m. for an encore of “Deadliest Earthquake.”

Bombing Hitler’s Dams
Jan. 11, 8-10 p.m.
In 1943 a squadron of Lancaster bombers staged one of the most audacious raids in history — destroying two gigantic dams in Germany’s industrial heartland and cutting the water supply to arms factories — with a revolutionary bouncing bomb invented by British engineer Barnes Wallis. Wallis and the pilots of 617 Squadron dealt a mighty blow to the German war machine. Now, NOVA re-creates the extreme engineering challenges faced by Wallis and the pilots with the aid of six spectacular experiments. Each represents a technical challenge that the “Dambusters” had to solve to make their mission a success. A team of experts — from dam engineers to explosives specialists — steps into the shoes of the Dambusters. They will adapt a vintage World War II DC4 to carry a bomb the size of an oil drum; train to drop it from a dangerously low altitude in pitch darkness; get it to bounce over obstacles and onto the target; and finally, at a test site in Canada with a 1:6 scale model of one of the German dams, try to repeat history.

3-D Spies of WWII
January 18, 8-9 p.m.
During World War II, 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.

Mystery of a Masterpiece
Jan. 25, 8-9 p.m.
In October 2009, a striking portrait of a young woman in Renaissance dress made world news headlines. Originally sold two years before for around $20,000, the portrait is now thought to be an undiscovered Leonardo da Vinci masterwork worth more than $100 million. How did cutting-edge imaging analysis help tie the portrait to Leonardo? NOVA meets a new breed of experts who are approaching “cold case” art mysteries as if they were crime scenes, determined to discover “who committed the art,” and follows art sleuths as they deploy new techniques to combat the multi-billion dollar criminal market in stolen and fraudulent art.

 

 

 

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For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of Programming, at (309) 495-0591 or linda.miller@wtvp.org

 


 

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