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NOVA Programs

NOVA | Great Cathedral Mystery

Watch Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 9pm on WMHT TV.

The dome that crowns Florence’s great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore — the Duomo — is a masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. Still the largest masonry dome on earth, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs as much as an average cruise ship. Historians and engineers have long debated how its architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, kept the dome perfectly aligned and symmetrical as the sides rose and converged toward the center. More than four million bricks could collapse at any moment — and we still don’t understand how Brunelleschi prevented it. To test the latest theories, a team of U.S. bricklayers will help build an experimental “mini-Duomo” using period tools and techniques.

Can scientists unravel the mysterious phenomena that lurk between Earth and space?

NOVA scienceNOW News

Five Reasons to Eat Insects

Save room for bugs! They're the future of green cuisine.

Profile: Shaundra Daily

This software engineer and dancer found her groove teaching children about their emotional lives.

Nature follows one of the most fearless animals in the world: the honey badger.

PBS Nature News

Snow Monkeys: Behind The Scenes: Making of Snow Monkeys

Pontecorvo and his wife Nimmida Pontevorco followed an individual snow monkey troop of over 160 members for over a year to truly get to know these fascinating creatures.

Snow Monkeys: Video: Monkey Babies Start to Explore

As winter months fade away, the forest becomes a nursery for this troop of snow monkeys: The newborns are full of energy and curiosity, and are blissfully unaware of dangers or troop politics.

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