“Nova” explores new discoveries and how we have come this far. Except where otherwise noted, all times below are Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Arizona PBS.
Jan. 8: “The Planets: Inner Worlds”
The rocky planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – were born of similar material around the same time, yet only one supports life. Were Earth’s neighbors always so extreme? Is there somewhere else in the solar system where life might flourish? Watch online.
Jan. 15: “The Planets: Jupiter”
Jupiter’s massive gravitational force made it a wrecking ball when it barreled through the early solar system. But it also shaped life on Earth, delivering comets laden with water – and perhaps even the fateful asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. Watch online.
Jan. 22: “The Planets: Saturn”
NASA’s Cassini explores Saturn for 13 years, looping through its icy rings and flying by its moons. The probe captures stunning ring-moon interactions, but when it finds the ingredients for life on the moon Enceladus, a bittersweet decision is made.
Jan. 29: “The Planets: Ice Worlds”
In the far reaches of the solar system, Uranus and Neptune dazzle with unexpected rings, supersonic winds and dozens of moons. And NASA’s New Horizons gets a stunning up-close view of Pluto before venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt.
Feb. 5: “Polar Extremes”
Join renowned paleontologist and host Kirk Johnson on an epic adventure through time at the Polar Extremes of our planet. Following a trail of strange fossils found in all the wrong places, Johnson uncovers the bizarre history of the poles, from miles-high ice sheets to warm polar forests teeming with life. What caused such dramatic changes at the end of the earth?