BOSTON (January 4, 2007)–WGBH Boston Video will debut three compelling NOVA productions on DVD, including Mystery of the Megavolcano January 16, 2006 and The Deadliest Plane Crash and Monster of the Milky Way January 30, 2006.

Mystery of the Megavolcano

Scientists make a shocking discovery–far back in the past, monster volcanoes erupted with cataclysmic violence, far greater than Vesuvius, Pinatubo, Mount St. Helens or any other volcano in recorded human history. Puzzling results from three different laboratories send volcano sleuths on a worldwide hunt for evidence, from Greenland’s ice cap to Sumatra’s jungles.

The clues converge on an astounding possibility: that a single ancient eruption 75,000 years ago blasted ash and rock across an entire continent, spewing so much sulfuric acid into the atmosphere that Earth was plunged into a global deep freeze. But can they prove it? More importantly, could it happen again? Using vivid computer-generated imagery, follow the clues that reveal the biggest volcanic cataclysm in earth’s history.

If these scientists are right, the ancient supervolano they locate–and others like it, including a behemoth lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park–may someday reawaken, with catastrophic consequences for our modern world.

The Deadliest Plane Crash

On March 27, 1977, on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, two fully loaded 747 jumbo jets collided on a fogbound runway, killing 583 people in what is still the deadliest plane crash in aviation history.

At the time, the facts of the accident were shocking and inexplicable. In the fog, a KLM 747 began an unauthorized takeoff, slamming into a Pan Am 747 that was taxiing on the same runway. The best and the brightest pilots, including KLM’s senior captain and head of safety, were at the helm. What could have triggered the accident? NOVA looks back at the crucial final hours before the disaster, when an improbable chain of coincidences, bad luck, and misjudgments snowballed into tragedy.

The Deadliest Plane Crash features realistic recreations, interviews with accident investigators, and moving testimony from the few survivors of the disaster. NOVA’s gripping examination also points to the crash’s continuing relevance for today. Despite new technology to improve runway safety, near-misses on the ground are still the leading cause of deadly aviation accidents.

Monster of the Milky Way

Join NOVA on a mind-bending hunt for a monster lurking at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers are closing in on one of the most destructive objects in the universe–a supermassive black hole–and it’s hiding right in the center of our own galaxy. Eventually, it will blast jets of radiation millions of miles its space, incinerating everything in its neighborhood, including planet Earth.

For centuries, black holes were dismissed as pure science fiction. Even Albert Einstein could not bring himself to accept them; despite pioneering the theory of relativity tat predicted their very existence. Yet recently, scientists have found convincing evidence that black holes are not only real but are crucial to the life and death of galaxies everywhere in the cosmos.

From the explosive birth of a black hole to its cannibalistic death throes, NOVA investigates one of the universe’s darkest secrets. With striking special effects, Monster of the Milky Way takes viewers on a scientifically accurate voyage into the belly of a supermassive black hole. When will it erupt and destroy the Milky Way?

To order any DVD or VHS release from WGBH Boston Video, including Mystery of the Megavolcano, The Deadliest Plane Crash, and Monster of the Milky Way call (800) 949-8670 or visit www.shop.wgbh.org.

Since its launch, WGBH Boston Video has released many critically acclaimed public television programs on DVD and video, including the Emmy Award-winning The Miracle of Life and The Elegant Universe (NOVA), The French Chef with Julia Child, David Copperfield (Masterpiece Theatre), The Joy of Stress, Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, Sister Wendy’s American Collection, Evolution, and Africans in America. Recent releases include The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (Mystery!), Degrassi Junior High, Origins (NOVA), They Made America, and Building Big with David Macaulay.

PRODUCT NAME: Mystery of the Megavolcano: Could Ancient Supervolcanoes Reawaken with Catastrophic Consequences
SERIES: NOVA
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 1 hour
FORMAT: DVD and VHS
SRP: $19.95
PREBOOK: 12/19/06
STREET: 1/16/07

PRODUCT NAME: The Deadliest Plane Crash: A Gripping Look into the Canary Islands Collision of the Boeing 747’s
SERIES: NOVA
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 1 hour
FORMAT: DVD and VHS
SRP: $19.95
PREBOOK: 1/2/07
STREET: 1/30/07

PRODUCT NAME: Monster of the Milky Way: A Massive Black Hole
SERIES: NOVA
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 1 hour
FORMAT: DVD
SRP: $19.95
PREBOOK: 1/2/07
STREET: 1/30/07

About the Author:

eSchool News