When Contact first opened, 20 years ago today, I thought it was a masterpiece. For a soon-to-be high school senior, Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel was the perfect Hollywood mix of thought-provoking ideas and spectacle. It wasn’t until years later I realized how divided fellow films fans were on the…
Did Carl Sagan really warn about a time in the future when manufacturing jobs would slip away, when the average person would have virtually no control over their political lives, and when we would all cling to superstitions? Yes, Sagan did predict just that. The screenshot you may have seen floating around social…
Doctor Carl Sagan and the Viking lander in the desert. What more could you possibly want?!
Symphony of Science is back! The project, helmed by John D. Boswell (aka Melodysheep) had been putting together some fantastic music videos featuring autotuned scientists. Now, he’s collaborated with the Planetary Society for the latest video, Beyond the Horizon.
In 1972, a number of notable SF authors and scientists boarded the S.S. Statendam for a unique experience: witness the night launch of Apollo 17.
A young Carl Sagan comes to vivid life in “Star Stuff,” a short film by Croatian film director Ratimir Rakuljic. It offers a moving re-enactment of how a young boy from Brooklyn with an insatiable appetite for wonder and science grew up to become a beloved iconic figure in science communication and outreach.
Warner Bros. is developing a Carl Sagan biopic. They’ll have the help of Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow, who is going to be a producer on the film. [The Tracking Board]
It’s been 38 years since NASA launched a gold record containing sounds and sights of Earth into space. Yesterday, NASA made it easier to hear those noises for yourself. On Soundcloud.
Over the weekend, the LightSail satellite unfurled its gigantic solar sail to help propel it through space. Now, the first images to be beamed back from the satellite prove that it’s really up and running.
Twenty years ago, discovering another Earth sounded like a science fictional dream. But within a generation, astronomers now believe we might do just that.
Cornell University’s Institute for Pale Blue Dots has a new name. Now called the Carl Sagan Institute: Pale Blue Dot and Beyond, the multidisciplinary research institute is dedicated to investigating the life-harboring potential of other planets, and to acquiring a richer understanding of our own.
“There’s just a tremendously exciting prospect called solar sailing. [It] travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the sun, the wind from the sun. Because it has a constant acceleration, it can get you around the inner part of the solar system a lot faster...than the usual sorts of rocket propulsion.”
If you’re ever feeling crappy about not getting recognition for your work, just remember that even Carl Sagan got negs from his scientific colleagues. In fact, he was never allowed into the National Academy of Sciences, despite all he did to popularize the scientific worldview.
It’s become a legend of the space age. The brilliant physicist Enrico Fermi, during a lunchtime conversation at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1950, is supposed to have posed a conundrum for proponents of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations:
"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars," Carl Sagan famously said in his 1980 series Cosmos. "We are made of starstuff."
Carl Sagan is arguably science's biggest rockstar—the ultimate champion for logic and reason. Which makes it all the more painful to find out that his son is a vehement 9/11 truther.
25 years ago today, Voyager I turned around to take a photo of Earth on its way out of the Solar System. You are looking at it. Our planet—6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) away from the spacecraft—is that tiny pale blue dot, "a mote of dustsuspended in a sunbeam." It is one of the most important photos ever.
By rights, this is what space should sound like.
Some enterprising soul decided to go through the classic Cosmos TV series and collect every single instance of beloved astronomer Carl Sagan pronouncing an "-illion" word in his unique, inimitable way in one, amazing supercut. There are infinitely worse ways to start the work week.
If Carl Sagan taught us anything about our universe in Cosmos, he taught us how small we are in the grand scheme of things. The universe deals in magnitudes far beyond our comprehension: billions of galaxies, trillions of stars, quadrillions of particles. So many, that one crazy fan compiled all those 'illions into…