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NOVA; Magnetic Storm



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Magnetic Storm
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

On March 13, 1989, the lights went out all across Canada and the eastern seaboard of the United States as far south as New York. The most serious power grid failure in American history was caused by a magnetic storm in the earth's upper atmosphere, itself triggered by the eruption of a huge flare from the surface of the Sun. Unusual as this event may seem, many scientists today are beginning to worry that it may be a harbinger of things to come, and that changes to the planet's magnetic field could make earth ever more vulnerable to deadly radiation from space. This film explores one of the least- known but most serious threats to life on earth.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Magnetic Storm,” 09/19/2003, GBH Archives, accessed October 2, 2023,
MLA: “NOVA; Magnetic Storm.” 09/19/2003. GBH Archives. Web. October 2, 2023. <>.
APA: NOVA; Magnetic Storm. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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