Search - NOVA: Lost at Sea - The Search for Longitude on DVD

NOVA: Lost at Sea - The Search for Longitude
NOVA Lost at Sea - The Search for Longitude
Actor: Richard Dreyfuss
Director: Nova
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2008     0hr 54min

Before global positioning systems, modern map making even before America was America the concept of longitude was just a dream. Without its guidance, navigation in the 1700s was both unpredictable and deadly...until one ma...  more »


Larger Image

Movie Details

Actor: Richard Dreyfuss
Director: Nova
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Travel, Transportation, Television, Educational, Biography, History, Science & Technology
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/15/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 0hr 54min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Similar Movies

Director: Charles Sturridge
   NR   2000   3hr 20min
NOVA - Galileo's Battle for the Heavens
Director: Nova
   NR   2006   2hr 0min
Absolute Zero - NOVA
Director: David Dugan
   NR   2008   1hr 52min
NOVA Einstein's Big Idea
Director: Gary Johnstone
   NR   2005   1hr 52min

Similarly Requested DVDs

Saving Private Ryan
Special Limited Edition
Director: Steven Spielberg
   R   1999   2hr 49min
The Wild Bunch - The Original Director's Cut
Two-Disc Special Edition
Director: Sam Peckinpah
   R   2006   2hr 25min
Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World
Widescreen Edition
Director: Peter Weir
   PG-13   2004   2hr 18min
The Queen
Director: Stephen Frears
   PG-13   2007   1hr 43min
The Shawshank Redemption
Director: Frank Darabont
   R   1999   2hr 22min
Elizabeth - The Golden Age
Widescreen Edition
   PG-13   2008   1hr 54min
Rio Bravo
Director: Howard Hawks
   UR   2001   2hr 21min
Life or Something Like It
Director: Stephen Herek
   PG-13   2002   1hr 43min
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers
Platinum Series Special Extended Edition
Director: Peter Jackson
   PG-13   2003   3hr 43min

Movie Reviews

John Harrison, Father of Longitude
I. Chiang | Silicon Valley, CA, USA | 02/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It seems to be trivial to know where you are, especially when the era of GPS (global positioning system) starts in 1995. It is, however, a challenge to know this at sea in the 1700s. Although one can tell the latitude by measuring the angle of the sun at noon, there is no practical way to know the longitude at that time. This makes navigation unreliable and deadly.

Most people, including Isaac Newton, think this problem must be solved by astronomers, or professors in famous universities by measuring the stars or the moon. It is John Harrison, an unschooled carpenter and watchmaker from the country, to get this job done and win the 20,000 pounds (millions in today's dollars) by his custom-made clock.

The key to know where you are is to know what time it is. This is still the principle that GPS works today. The clocks in GPS are atomic. However, the clocks then are mechanic and are very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain its precision at sea due to the shaking of a ship. In addition, the gravity, temperature and friction are also factors to make a clock imprecise when traveling a long distance. Finally, it took John Harrison 58 years to overcome all these and make longitude predictable at sea.

What we think straightforward may go through long struggles. What we think a reasonable and better idea may turn out impractical. It is fun to learn the above while watching this film. And it would be good if more people know about this history."
Typical NOVA - Excellent
rsb | Vienna, WV | 10/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a super dramatization and historical account of the sometimes less than scientific search for a way to find longitude at sea.

The video is beautifully produced and the acting is great. The science is accurate and engaging for all levels of understanding.

Harrison's genius is expertly portrayed and his contribution to the scientific method is well documented. The prejudice of the so-called learned academics against the practitioner is a reminder that we can still miss the boat with preconceptions.

Highly recommended."