Expand your scientific horizons with a new season of NOVA beginning tonight with the space journey “Hubble’s Amazing Rescue.”
After nearly 20 years in space and hundreds of thousands of spectacular images, the Hubble Space Telescope was dying. The only hope to save Hubble was a mission so dangerous that in 2004 NASA cancelled it. Fortunately, scientists and the general public alike stubbornly refused to abandon the telescope and a new NASA administrator revived the mission. Tonight at 9 p.m. “Hubble’s Amazing Rescue” takes you on a riveting, behind-the-scenes journey with the team of astronauts and engineers charged with saving the famous “orbiting observatory.” Be sure to look out for NASA astronaut Michael Massimino—a Long Island native!
Watch this preview to whet your adventure-loving appetite:
Get to know the largest lizards to walk the planet in “Lizard Kings,” premiering Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m.
Though they may look like dragons and inspire stories of man-eating, fire-spitting monsters with long claws, razor-sharp teeth and muscular, whip-like tails, these creatures are actually monitor lizards. And even though these bizarre lizards haven’t changed all that much since the dinosaurs, they are a successful species, versatile at adapting to all kinds of settings with their acute intelligence – including the ability to plan. “Lizard Kings” explores what makes these tongued reptiles so similar to mammals and what has allowed them to become such unique survivors.
Discover why monitor lizards make great pets:
Mixing science and drama, the new two-hour special “Darwin’s Darkest Hour” – premiering Wednesday, October 28 at 9 p.m. – brings to life Charles Darwin’s greatest personal crisis: the anguishing decision over whether to “go public” with his theory of evolution. Darwin spent years refining his ideas and penning his seminal book, On the Origin of Species. Daunted by looming conflict with the orthodox religious values of his day, he resisted publishing — until 1858, when Darwin learned that Alfred Wallace was on the brink of publishing ideas similar to his own. In a sickened panic, Darwin grasped his dilemma: to delay publishing any longer would be to condemn all of his work to obscurity. But to come forward with his ideas risked the fury of the church and perhaps a rift with his own devoted wife, Emma, who clung to a devout, orthodox view of creation. This moving drama about the birth of a great idea is seen through the inspiration and personal sufferings of its brilliant originator. Henry Ian Cusick (Lost) and Frances O’Connor (Iron Jawed Angels) star as Charles and Emma Darwin.
Watch a preview: