‘Nova’ delivers robots, avian intelligence and more this winter

This winter, “Nova” explores bird brains, the dinosaurs’ demise and other secrets of the universe. Join us each Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Dec. 5

“Rise of the Robots”
Machines with human-like capabilities have long been the stuff of science fiction — until now. Meet the world’s most advanced humanoid robots as they leave the lab, battle real-world challenges and endeavor to become part of our everyday lives. Watch online.

Dec. 13

“Secret Tunnel Warfare”
During WWI, the Allies devised a devastating plan, planting 600 tons of explosives in secret tunnels driven under German trenches. Uncover traces of the operation and learn why it failed to break the lethal deadlock of trench warfare. Watch via Passport.

Dec. 20

“Bird Brain” New
Long mocked as empty-headed, birds hide surprisingly acute intelligence. But just how smart are they? As scientists test avian aptitude with brainteasers, discover how the genius of birds is leading us to rethink our basic notions of intelligence. Watch via Passport.

Dec. 27

“Day the Dinosaurs Died” New
Investigate how an asteroid vanquished the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Join scientists as they drill into the impact crater and, for the first time, reconstruct the hell on earth that unfolded in the minutes, hours and months after the impact. Watch via Passport.

Jan. 3

“Invisible Universe Revealed”
Twenty-five years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. Learn the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. Watch online.

Jan. 10

“Black Hole Apocalypse” New
Join astrophysicist Janna Levin on a mind-bending journey to the frontiers of black hole research. Discover how scientists may soon be able to “see” a black hole and are revealing new clues to the strangest and most extreme objects in the universe. Watch via Passport.

Jan. 17

“Hagia Sophia: Istanbul’s Ancient Mystery”
Discover how Istanbul’s magnificent Hagia Sophia has survived for over 1,500 years on one of the world’s most active seismic faults. As Istanbul braces for the next big quake, a team of architects and engineers is taking a close look at Hagia Sophia’s seismic secrets. Watch via Passport.

Jan. 24

“Petra: Lost City of Stone”
More than two thousand years ago, the thriving city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. Explore how an oasis of culture was created in one of the harshest climates on earth and, ultimately, why it disappeared. Watch online.

Jan. 31

“The Impossible Flight” New
Go inside the greatest aviation undertaking of our time: creating a solar-powered airplane able to fly around the world. Follow two intrepid pilots and a team of engineers as the team behind the Solar Impulse II worked to push the boundaries of human flight and send a message to the world about the potential for renewable energy. Watch online.

Feb. 7

“First Face of America” New
Take a risky dive into an underwater cave in Mexico to uncover 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. Watch online.

Feb. 14

“Great Escape at Dunkirk” New
Join archaeologists and divers recovering remains of ships and planes lost during World War II’s epic Dunkirk operation. Discover new evidence of the ingenious technology that helped save Allied forces from defeat by the encircling Germans. Watch online.

Feb. 21

“Secrets of the Sky Tombs”
Explore high altitude caves in the Himalayas to see how humans found their way into this forbidding landscape and their bodies adapted to survive. Along the way they discover evidence of ritual burials, including practices designed to ward off the supernatural.

Feb. 28

“Prediction by the Numbers” New
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?

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