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The Films of the
International Geophysical Year

National Academy of Science Films
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences played an important role in the International Geophysical Year (IGY), producing classroom materials and a film series, called Planet Earth, designed for television and shown in classrooms. 

The films presented here were produced after IGY, using footage taken during the IGY field research, and each film focuses on one of the thirteen research themes of IGY. The films complement the posters and booklet published in 1958, available on the National Academies of Science archives.

These videos require the free Adobe Flash Player 9 or above and are optimized for a DSL connection and greater. If you have any trouble playing the videos please contact us at epomail@lasp.colorado.edu.

Movie Title
Challenge of the Ocean
Running time - 24:13
This film is about oceanic science including currents; sediment analysis; and ocean floor, crust, and magnetic field mapping.
Cosmic Rays
Running time - 27:14
This film discusses the discovery of and theories behind cosmic rays and the equipment used to make the first measurements.
Magnetic Force
Running time - 27:53
Along with the history of electromagnetic physics, this film addresses Earth’s magnetic field and solar interactions on it.
Nearest Star
Running time - 28:39
This film covers space weather, solar activity, and the spectrum and physical features of the Sun.
Radio Waves
Running time - 26:44
This film discusses the history of radio use, the ionosphere, and progresses to radio astronomy.
Research by Rockets
Running time - 27:36
This film describes rocket hardware and goes on to explain the types of measurements that can be made using rockets.
Science in Space
Running time - 27:44
This film details a history of manned spaceflight. It also includes information about rocket and satellite development.
Secrets of the Ice
Running time - 27:21
This film is about how and why glaciers are studied.
The Flaming Sky
Running time - 27:57
This film covers Aurora and the techniques for research and analysis of their properties.
The Force of Gravity
Running time - 27:26
After an introduction to the history leading up to Newtonian physics, this film explains how gravitational measurements are made worldwide at the time of the film’s production.
The Hidden Earth
Running time - 27:46
This film is about the link between earthquakes and volcanoes, and the internal structure of Earth.
The Inconstant Air
Running time - 28:21
This film addresses weather monitoring, patterns, and prediction.
The Shape of the Earth
Running time - 27:54
After detailing how the first measurements of the shape of the Earth were made, the film addresses techniques and equipment for making geodetic measurements of Earth.
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