Segments in this Video

Dangerous Earth: Fire (02:15)


Helen Czerski speaks about the natural wonders of the Earth and uses high tech cameras and imaging systems to investigate natural phenomenon in ways never seen before. See footage of volcanic eruptions and lightning strikes.

Mt. Ontake Eruption (02:44)

Czerski introduces eyewitness footage of the eruption of Mt. Ontake in Japan. Clues from the footage explain why the volcanic eruption was not predicted.

Mt. Nyiragongo (05:15)

Czerski travels to Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to speak with scientists studying the volcano in the hopes of predicting eruptions. Dario Tedesco leads a team of scientists in gathering a sample from Nyiragongo's lava lake. Geologist Tom Darrah explains why Nyiragongo's lava is so fast moving.

Types of Volcanic Eruption (05:37)

Czerski explains the difference between the two main types of volcanic eruption and talks about the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. Volcanologist Emma Liu explains whyy the Eyjafjallajökull ash was so uniquely dangerous.

Mt. Tavurvur and Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (06:07)

Czerski introduces footage by Phil McNamara capturing a violent eruption in Papua New Guinea. Hugh Tuffen traveled to the area to study the unique rhyolitic lava that came from an eruption in Chile in 2011.

Studying Eruptions (01:51)

Scientists film the eruption of Mt. Stromboli in Italy with ultraviolet cameras to see the escape of invisible gasses. Scientists film the eruption of Mount Yasur in Vanuatu with cameras capable of capturing up to 1,000 frames per second to better understand high speed lava bombs.

Lightning Footage (04:30)

Czerski explains the phenomenon of lightning strikes and atmospheric electric charges. Lightning charges are built up by ice crystals interacting in the atmosphere and building up negative charges.

High Speed Lightning Photography (05:44)

Tom Warner uses high speed cameras to film lightning strikes in Rapid City, South Dakota. Czerski shows the first known photograph of lightning, a daguerreotype from 1847. See footage of a rare upward traveling lightning strike.

Spacecraft and Aircraft (03:23)

Czerski tells the story of the Apollo 12 moon mission that was struck by lightning seconds after liftoff. John Madura explains what caused the Apollo 12 lightning strike. Every commercial airliner is struck by lightning at least once per year.

Changes in Airplane Design (03:10)

Stephen Haigh speaks about the new dangers to aircraft that are designed with carbon fiber materials rather than aluminum. Czerski narrates an experiment meant to discern how new materials are vulnerable to lightning strikes.

Struck by Lightning (03:09)

Lightning strike victims explain what they felt when they were struck by lightning. Mary Anne Cooper explains the effects of a lightning strike on a human body.

Sprites (05:01)

Czerski speaks about the rare phenomenon known as a sprite, huge atmospheric electrical discharges that last only 1/1000th of a second. Scientists fly a specially equipped plane into storm systems to attempt to record sprites with high speed, low light cameras.

Credits: Fire (00:35)

Credits: Fire

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Part of the Series : Dangerous Earth
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Dr. Helen Czerski examines two of the hottest natural phenomena on Earth: lightning and volcanoes. More than 3 million lightning bolts strike the planet each day, each 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun and carrying millions of volts of electricity. It kills many thousands of people each year and many more are severely injured. Exactly how lightning works is only just being uncovered. Super-slow motion cameras, filming at several thousand frames per second, show its stunning and delicate path and reveal a rare form of upward lightning, triggered by our urban landscapes. Eyewitness footage show planes being struck by lightning, while a scientific expedition travels high into the atmosphere above a thunderstorm to catch on camera vast electrical discharges called sprites. Volcanoes are one of the most volatile, dangerous and dynamic forces on the planet. Now, user-generated footage is revealing rarely seen volcanic phenomena that challenge our understanding of these powerful forces. From Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, terrifying footage shows scientists risking their lives to uncover the secrets of the world's most dangerous volcano. In the lab, experiments reveal how this lava is a window into the planet's earliest origins. Infra-red footage of volcanic bombs in Chile have enabled scientists to understand why the explosive eruptions of Puyehue Cordon-Caulle last so long. The result of this flood of new images is pushing the boundaries of what was previously understood—and with better understanding scientists are more able to make sense of these amazing but often destructive forces of nature.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL141302

ISBN: 978-1-64023-930-2

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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