PBS Series NOVA Shares the Great American Eclipse with Audiences across the U.S. in Special Day-of-Event Presentation

On Monday August 21, 2017, America’s eyes will be glued to the skies as the mainland United States experiences the first total solar eclipse since 1979, and the first to cross the USA since 1918. PBS’ award-winning science series, NOVA, produced by WGBH Boston, will capture the spectacular event in a special presentation to air hours after it takes place. 

This extraordinary cosmic spectacle will pass through 14 states, and everyone in the continental U.S. will have the opportunity to see at least a partial eclipse, possibly making it the most widely viewed American eclipse of all time. Commencing at 10:15 a.m. PDT (1:15 p.m. EDT), a lunar shadow 73 miles wide will take one hour and 33 minutes to travel from Oregon on the west coast to South Carolina on the east, allowing continuous observation for 90 minutes.

NOVA’s most extensive fast-turnaround film to date, “Eclipse Over America” will be the ultimate companion to this spectacular celestial event. NOVA will follow teams working on the forefront of solar science and solar storm detection, incorporating immersive CGI animation to reveal the sun’s secret mechanisms, stunning sequences of the eclipse itself, NASA footage, and more. NOVA will also collaborate with several local public television stations along the path of totality, who will provide footage shot in their own back yards, illustrating the excitement the eclipse generates across the nation.

“NOVA is thrilled to provide our audiences across the U.S. with an up close, in-depth look at this extraordinary event,” said Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer of NOVA. “We are excited to share the experience with viewers and provide a scientific perspective on the celestial mechanism behind this total solar eclipse and what it can tell us about the inner workings of our sun.”

Also during the eclipse, NOVA will present a Facebook LIVE event in partnership with PBS “NewsHour.” Hosted by PBS Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien, the event will feature commentary by Jason Kalirai from the Space Science Institute and other experts gathered to watch the eclipse from a location about 40 miles east of Irwin, Idaho. Additional details will be released via NOVA social media channels closer to August 21st.

NOVA “Eclipse Over America” will be available to stream the morning after broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

NOVA “Eclipse Over America” is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston. Senior Executive Producer for NOVA is Paula S. Apsell.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper and 23andMe. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. Additional funding is provided by the Neil and Anna Rasmussen Foundation.

To learn more about the the sun, viewers can visit the NOVA Sun Lab, a web-based interactive, where teens and other users can explore solar weather using the same data, images, and tools that scientists use to track and predict solar activity. In addition, ten short videos explain the Sun’s anatomy, why the Sun is so volatile, and how and why we study it. As users explore the interactive and videos, they learn about the threats posed by strong solar storms and space weather that could disrupt our communication and electrical systems for weeks, months, or even years. The Sun Lab is supported with resources for science educators including a lesson plan and discussion questions on PBS LearningMedia.

Continue your space exploration with additional new PBS specials that offer an in-depth look at the solar system and beyond! Coming up on August 21, NOVA ECLIPSE OVER AMERICA invites you to observe a total solar eclipse traversing the U.S. mainland for the first time in more than a generation. THE FARTHEST – VOYAGER IN SPACE is a two-hour special about NASA’s historic Voyager mission to explore our solar system and beyond, airing August 23. Two more NOVA specials, DEATH DIVE TO SATURN on September 13 and BLACK HOLE APOCALYPSE on January 10, 2018, explore the Cassini space probe’s mission to Saturn and the frontiers of black hole research, respectively. In November, BEYOND A YEAR IN SPACE chronicles Scott Kelly’s return home after a year in space and provides a glimpse of a new generation of astronauts training for mankind’s greatest leap yet: the journey to Mars. PBS KIDS’ hit space-themed series READY JET GO! takes young viewers on far-flung learning adventures through astronomy, technology, scientific exploration, innovation and invention. PBS Digital Studios’ SPACE TIME explores the outer reaches of space, the craziness of astrophysics, the possibilities of sci-fi and anything else imaginable beyond planet Earth.


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