Science Night 8/28

Nature Cracking the Koala Code at 7 pm
From the miracle of marsupial birth to tender moments of discovery between mother and newborn joey, encounters with threatening forest creatures, battles between rival males and the complex chorus of bellows and grunts that have become so important to science — join leading scientists as they unravel just what a forest needs to support a healthy population of koalas by listening to these marsupial.

Nova Making Stuff Cleaner at 8 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Cleaner – Host David Pogue is on a quest to clean up, using new green materials to build and power the devices of the future. Batteries grown from viruses, plastics made of sugar and solar cells that cook up hydrogen are just the beginning of a new generation of clean materials.

Nova Making Stuff Smarter at 9 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Smarter – An army tanker truck that heals its own bullet wounds. An airplane wing that changes shape as it flies. Clothing that can monitor its wearer’s heart rate, health and mood. Host David Pogue looks into the growing number of smart materials that can respond, change and even learn.

Science Night 8/21

Nature Bird of the Gods at 7 pm
Living in the depths of the New Guinean Rainforest are birds of unimaginable color and beauty. When Europeans first saw the plumes of these fabulous creatures in the 16th century, they believed they must be from heaven and called them Birds of Paradise. The people of New Guinea make even greater claims. They say the birds possess supernatural powers and magic. But to find these birds in New Guinea is one of the toughest assignments and to witness their extraordinary mating displays is even tougher. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film these Birds of Paradise; the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers.

Nova Making Stuff Stronger at 8 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Stronger – What is the world’s strongest material? From steel to Kevlar and spider silk to carbon nanotubes, host David Pogue looks at the ways in which science and nature work to make strong stuff.

Nova Making Stuff Smaller at 9 pm
From carbon nanotubes to artificial skin, our world is poised at the frontier of a revolution in materials science as far-reaching as the biotech breakthroughs of the last two decades. This series explores how materials changed history and are shaping the future, ranging from cost-effective fuel cells and solar panels to quantum computers and ultra-light automobiles. The New York Times’ technology correspondent and best-selling author David Pogue brings his trademark goofball humor and techie zeal to this exploration of the future of “stuff.” Each episode explores the talent, luck and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough. Making Stuff Smaller – Here in the information age, smaller is better: transistors, microchips and the laptops and cell phone that they power are triumphs of tiny. Now, host David Pogue takes us to an even smaller world, as he profiles the latest in high-powered nano-circuits and micro-robots that may one day hold the key to saving lives and building materials from the ground up.

Science Night 8/14

Nature Outback Pelicans at 7 pm
In years of heavy rain, the inhospitable Australian outback transforms into a surprising oasis for Australia’s pelicans. They leave coastal homes for the outback. The abundance of food and water makes it the perfect place to breed and raise families. But much about their lives and their journey remain a mystery that researchers are only now beginning to unravel.

NOVA Kings of Camouflage at 8 pm
Cuttlefish are one of the strangest animals on our planet. These shape-shifting creatures can hypnotize their prey, impersonate the opposite sex and even kill with lightening fast speed. More accomplished masters of disguise than any chameleon, they have an incredible ability to morph their skin color — even their shape — to blend into most any background. They have the largest brain-to-body ratio of all the invertebrates. But are they capable of learning and remembering complex tasks? With beautiful underwater footage and in-depth expert interviews, NOVA gets up close and personal with these bizarre and amazing animals.

The Truth About Exercise with Michael Mosley at 9 pm
Whether you’re running, swimming, cycling or hula hooping, we have always been told that doing regular exercise will improve our bodies and is one of the keys to a healthy and happy life. Our one-size-fits-all approach to maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is very rarely questioned, but with recent advances in genetic testing technology and brain stimulation techniques, scientists are uncovering the new and surprising truths about what exercise is really doing to our bodies, and why we all respond to it differently. In this program, Michael Mosley uses himself as a human guinea pig to discover the truth about exercise.

Science Night 7/31

Nature Odd Couples at 7 pm
Love apparently knows no boundaries in the animal kingdom. Despite the odds, there are countless stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable. Instincts gone awry? NATURE investigates why animals form these special bonds and what these relationships suggest about the nature of animal emotions.

Nazi Mega Weapons V2 Rocket at 10 pm
The first ever long-range rockets were designed and built by the Nazis in a network of top-secret research labs, underground silos and hi-tech launch pads. This is the story of how scientist Werner von Braun heralded the birth of ballistic missiles and laid the technological foundations for the space race.

Science Night 7/24

Nature Siberian Tiger Quest at 7 pm
Conservation ecologist Chris Morgan embarks on a challenge that will fulfill a lifelong dream — to find and film a Siberian tiger living wild and free in Russia’s far eastern forests. To help him, Morgan turns to Korean cameraman Sooyong Park, the first individual ever to film Siberian tigers in the wild.

NOVA 3D Spies of WWII at 8 pm
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.

Nazi Mega Weapons U-Boat Base at 9 pm
To create a haven in port for their lethal U-boat submarines, the Nazis built massive, impenetrable concrete submarine pens. Structures too immense to be hidden, they were constructed to withstand direct hits from even the biggest Allied bombs. Such was their size and strength that these pens survive today, a testament to their engineering.

Science Night 7/17

Nature Elsa’s Legacy at 7 pm
“Born Free” – a book and then a film that changed forever the way we think about wildlife, marked its 50th anniversary of the publication in 2010. What has happened to lions since this story? And what has happened to the people featured in the film? What has “Born Free” taught us?

Nova Ghosts of Machu Picchu  at 8 pm
Perched atop a mountain crest, mysteriously abandoned more than four centuries ago, Machu Picchu is the most famous archeological ruin in the Western hemisphere and an iconic symbol of the power and engineering prowess of the Inca. In the years since Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, there have been countless theories about this “Lost City of the Incas,” yet it remains an enigma. Why did the Incas build it on such an inaccessible site, clinging to the steep face of a mountain? Who lived among its stone buildings, farmed its emerald green terraces, and drank from its sophisticated aqueduct system? NOVA joins a new generation of archeologists as they probe areas of Machu Picchu that haven’t been touched since the time of the Incas and unearth burials of the people who built the sacred site.

Nazi Mega Weapons Atlantic Wall at 9 pm
To protect occupied Europe from an Allied invasion, Hitler demanded the construction of a defensive wall stretching thousands of kilometers from France in the south to Norway in the north. This is the story of how this vast engineering project sucked in huge quantities of raw materials and men from all over the Third Reich … and faced its ultimate test on D-Day.

Science Night 7/10

Nova Building Pharaoh’s Chariot at 7 pm
Around 3,600 years ago, reliefs in Egyptian tombs and temples depicted pharaohs and warriors proudly riding into battle on horse-drawn chariots. Some historians claim that the chariot launched a technological and strategic revolution, and was the secret weapon behind Egypt’s greatest era of conquest known as the New Kingdom. But was the Egyptian chariot really a revolutionary design? How decisive a role did it play in the bloody battles of the ancient world? In this film, a team of archaeologists, engineers, woodworkers and horse trainers join forces to build and test two highly accurate replicas of Egyptian royal chariots.

Secrets of the Dead Ultimate Tut at 8 pm
Ninety years ago in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, the greatest archaeological find in history was made: the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb and its golden treasures. It made Tutankhamen the most famous name in ancient Egyptian history. But the real story has become shrouded in myth — with many mysteries around the tomb unsolved to this day. This two-hour special combines the latest evidence from a team of archaeologists, anatomists, geologists and Egyptologists to build the ultimate picture of Tutankhamen.

Science Night 7/3

Nature American Eagle at 7 pm
Unique to North America, the bald eagle is the continent’s most recognizable aerial predator, with a shocking white head, electric yellow beak and penetrating eyes. In the 1960s, this symbol of the United States became an emblem of environmental degradation, as the pesticide DDT and other human pressures brought it to the brink of extinction. Following their protection as an endangered species, bald eagles have come roaring back. Photographed by three-time Emmy-winning cinematographer Neil Rettig, this first-ever HD hour on bald eagles focuses on the drama of the nest. Even in the best of times, it’s a surprisingly tough struggle to maintain a one-ton home and raise chicks until they can hunt on their own. This is an intimate portrait of these majestic raptors’ lives in the wild.

Nova Dogs Decoded at 8 pm
Dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the planet and humans have developed a unique relationship with these furry friends. We treat our pets like a part of the family and we feel that they can understand us in a way other animals cannot. Now, new research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. What is surprising, however, is new research showing that humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be?

Watch The Silver Pharaoh Preview on PBS. See more from Secrets of the Dead.

Secrets of the Dead The Silver Pharaoh at 9 pm
The royal tomb of Pharaoh Psusennes I is one of the most spectacular of all the ancient Egyptian treasures – even more remarkable than that of Tutankhamen. So why hasn’t the world heard about it? What mysteries does it contain? And what does it reveal about ancient Egypt?

Science Night 6/26

Nature Black Mamba at 7 pm
The black mamba is one of Africa’s most dangerous and feared snakes, known for being very aggressive when disturbed. Rearing up with its head four feet above the ground, it strikes with deadly precision, delivering venom that is packed with three different kinds of toxins and is ten times more deadly than needed to kill an adult human. Until now, little has been known about the black mamba’s natural behavior in the wild because in Africa most people kill a black mamba on sight and feel lucky to have done so. But in the tiny country of Swaziland in southern Africa, a team of herpetologists has an entirely different “take” on these creatures and hopes their six-week study will change public perception of what they feel is the world’s most misunderstood snake.

Modern Spies Episode #101 at 8 pm
For the first time on television, serving British secret agents talk about their work – from an MI6 agent runner to an MI5 surveillance officer, as Modern Spies investigates how today’s spies are recruited and probes the secrets of spycraft, from the sleeper cell to the brush pass and the cut out to the cyber spy.

Modern Spies Episode #102 at 8:55
Serving members of the security services talk about how their work can help to prevent terrorist attacks. In a series of exclusive interviews, the programmes looks into the big questions, asking when does an undercover operation cross the line and become entrapment – and do spies ever have a licence to kill?

Science Night 6/19

Nature Invasion of the Pythons at 7 pm
Florida’s Everglades National Park is one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States, home to numerous unique and endangered mammals, trees, plants, birds and turtles, as well as half a million alligators. However, the Everglades is also the dumping ground for many animal invaders over 15 species of parrot, 75 kinds of fish and 30 different reptiles from places as far away as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.  Add to the mix tens of thousands of giant pythons, snakes that can grow to 20 feet and weigh nearly 300 pounds, some released into the wild by irresponsible pet owners, some escapees from almost 200 wildlife facilities destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The predatory pythons slithered into this protected wilderness and thrived, and the refuge has consequently become less of a haven and more of a killing ground every day since then.

NOVA  Extreme Cave Diving at 8 pm
Follow the charismatic Dr. Kenny Broad as he dives into Blue Holes — underwater caves that formed during the last ice age when sea level was nearly 400 feet below what it is today. They are Earth’s least explored and perhaps most dangerous frontiers. With an interdisciplinary team of climatologists, paleontologists and anthropologists, Broad investigates the hidden history of Earth’s climate as revealed by finds in this spectacularly beautiful “alternate universe.”